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."
The 2008 Cappella bursts onto the palate with black cherries, smoke, menthol and licorice. This is a decidedly powerful, tannic Cappella that is going to need quite a bit of bottle age. Layers of fruit build effortlessly to the intense, deeply expressive finish. With time in the glass, the wine's potential becomes quite evident. In 2008 Cappella is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot.