99pts James Suckling
Aromas of blackberries, graphite, and lead pencil. Fresh and dried flowers and iron shavings. Full bodied, layered, tight and solid. Beautiful and very poised and thoughtful. Hints of fresh herbs, from lavender to lemon grass. Compressed. Great length and focus. Drink after 2022.
The 2016 Cappella is delicate, elegant and super-refined. Bright floral and spice notes perk up a core of red cherry and plum fruit in a fine, silky wine that speaks to pure refinement. A wine of total grace and finesse, Cappella is absolutely gorgeous in 2016. It is also one of the most polished and nuanced wines I have ever tasted here.
97pts Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016s from Brad Grimes are all incredible wines that show the purity and balance of the vintage as well as the power and depth the Grimms always seems to find. Starting with the 2016 Cappella, it’s a more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend and comes from a tiny vineyard just west of St. Helena. It has a deep ruby/plum color as well as a powerful bouquet of blackcurrants, caramelized meats, spice box, and chocolaty herbs. This full-bodied, deep, concentrated 2016 just glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness. It has the vintage’s more supple, seamless style and already offers pleasure. Nevertheless, it’s going to keep for 20-30 years.
97pts Wine Spectator
Dark and very reserved up front, with an espresso cream frame holding a dense core of steeped fig and black currant paste flavors in check for now. Slowly reveals roasted alder and smoldering tobacco notes at the end while the fruit gains steam, driving the finish. The power is obvious, but there’s a sneaky seductiveness too. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2040. 277 cases made. James Molesworth
Cappella is one of the oldest vineyard sites in St. Helena. Six acres that sit alongside a Catholic cemetery on the west side of town, it was first planted in 1869. In the 1980s the church asked David to tear out the old vines, then he watched as the land lay fallow for close to two decades. When he finally got the chance to replant, he jumped. He'd tasted fruit from Cappella in the 70s. He knew what kind of wine it could make. But that first replant was ill-fated thanks to diseased rootstock, and once again he was ripping out vines. “It took us six years before we had a crop. We could have ignored it, pulled the vines out one by one as they collapsed. But then we'd have all these different ripening patterns, which would impact consistency. It was an easy decision.