Consumer Reports
Chockablock, 2016. Elizabeth Rose

Chockablock, 2016. Elizabeth Rose

Item #: N0619R1DC
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Chockablock
Vineyard/Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Color: Very Dense Crimson
Nose: Black Plum, Earth
Palate: Dense Cherry, Earth
Finish: Rich, Medium Tannins
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2030/Red Meat/14.2% Alcohol by Volume

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  • Description
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In 1903, Joe Pelissa bought his first 35 acres in Napa Valley with a single gold coin. The family still owns that land, though now it's part of nearly 1,000 acres that they've judiciously acquired over five generations. In the last 116 years, they've supplied fruit to some of the most prestigious wineries in the valley, as well as making their own outstanding wines.

Chockablock is made in the Bordeaux style, featuring Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for this blend were grown both in the Cabernet capital of Oakville and in the climatically very different Yountville, only a grape's throw away. Balance is the key, here.

There are very few great wines made in the world from one varietal. Pinot Noir, Riesling, Nebbiolo and Chardonnay would probably top the list. That's because these grapes are so complex on their own, there is nothing else needed. Even the exalted Cabernet Sauvignon can get a bit overbearing, were it not for the addition of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Let's face it, Bordeaux has been blending for around 400 years for good reason.

That's not to say our Chockablock is an also-ran. Just the opposite. The vineyard is certified organic, which undoubtedly plays a major role in the dynamic presence of this selection. These vines were lovingly cared for.

Here is power and glory heavily packed into one bottle of wine. From the scents of black fruit, caramel and chocolate to those same flavors on the palate joined by layers of earth and spice, this powerhouse thrills at every level. Large and lovely rules.