is owned by three partners who actually met when they were working at Mayacamas Winery in the mid 1990′s. We met with Jeffrey Popick one of the owners and winemakers. Initially he was working in vineyard management but became tired of always being in the “fields” and started to learn winemaking. Chameleon’s original focus was on Sangiovese and Barbera but since then their product line has expanded considerably and during our taste we had a choice of a wide variety of wines. Much of the fruit comes from the Napa area but they also source from a variety of other nearby counties including Sonoma & Mendocino. You can’t miss seeing their label! It is a mostly blue Chameleon with a red eye.
Their winemaking style is geared towards food friendly wines – wines that are not huge or overly tannic. Chameleon held off for many years on producing a Cabernet Sauvignon as they they focused their efforts on other wines especially the lesser known varietals. We tried their first ever commercial release of Cabernet Sauvignon from 2005. Following in line with many of their other wines, this wine would not be complete without a little used varietal found from Napa wineries. In this case they blend the Cabernet with 17% Carmenere which ads a nice black cherry and black currant flavor to the wine. The 2005 Syrah comes from a block within the well known Stagecoach Vineyards at about 1400 feet on Atlas Peak. This is a fruit forward rich Syrah which will pair well with heavy duty meat dishes and accompanying flavors. Along with the pleasant fruit on the palate you can also find tones of chocolate and coffee.
Their 2005 Carignane is worth a mention. The fruit for this wine comes from Solano County. This has an extremely smelly nose, almost earthy – French style. As the wine opens up the nose becomes more subtle. The palate is a mix of spices including pepper, chocolate and black cherry. Also of note is their Charbono, Grenache, Barbera & Zinfandel. All their wines as of press time are very reasonably priced with almost all coming in under $30/bottle. Total production is between 5000 and 6000 cases.
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
I opened a bottle today and the cork broke in half. Never had that happen before. Now I have cork in my wine.
jeff popick says
you must not drink very much wine
jon warren says
your wine was the best we’ve ever had 10-15 years ago
would love to get some more
greetings from ashland!
Jon from el bonita, Mark’s brother