The business model that started Chad Wines is an interesting one.
Chad Alexander was a young winemaker in Napa Valley. In the midst of the most recent recession, a number of well-known wineries were having difficulty selling some of their higher priced wines. As their inventories rose, they became concerned. Chad offered to purchase excess inventory and bottle it under his own label, under agreement not to reveal which winery the stock was purchased from. He could describe the area the grapes were sourced from, generically, but not the winery. The wineries moved inventory and received cash in a difficult economic environment. Chad resold the wine with unbranded corks under his label. Consumers (that’s you and me!) received higher end wine at significant discounts.
I enjoyed my first bottle of 2009 Chad Cabernet Sauvignon during the summer of 2011.
I am still enjoying this wine today.
The bottle was a PNP.
This bottle was a blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of Petite Verdot. The largest component of the Cabernet came from a high-elevation vineyard in the Red Hills. The second component was from an old-vine vineyard on Howell Mountain. The Petite Verdot was sourced from a vineyard on the floor of Napa Valley.
Each of these came together for a great taste sensation on the palate. Cherry, black currant, and plum were all evident, with a hint of chocolate in the background.
The wine lists ABV at 14.5%, but alcohol was imperceptible on the nose, palate, or finish. This wine was surprisingly light in body for a Napa Cabernet. I brought a bottle to dinner with friends last month and one diner insisted it was not a Cabernet Sauvignon (I didn’t argue with her, but I did pour another glass!).
I’d call the finish medium. It brought with it smoothing tannins. As the wine opened up, cherries became more pronounced on the back end.
This was a really, nice bottle of wine, but set your expectations accordingly. This is not a big, meaty Napa Cab.
I paid $18 for the 2009 Chad Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills Lake County. It’s a great buy at that price (try some and let me know what you think, please!).