98pts James Suckling
This is tight and creamy with firm tannins. Extremely long and flavorful red with blackberries and sweet tobacco. Black tea. Dusty and juicy sensation from the tannin. Flavorful finish. Drink in 2022 or later.
95-97pts Jeb Dunnuck
Leading off the 2017s, the 2017 Cappella is a full-bodied, concentrated wine in the vintage and has terrific purity as well as elegance. Classic Abreu cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and chocolaty notes define the bouquet, and it has awesome tannins as well as length.
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.”