Established in 1973, Chateau St. Jean is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley. The chateau itself was built in 1920 as a summer home for the Goff family and has since been listed in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Chateau St. Jean sources its grapes from vineyards in the Alexander Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley and Sonoma Valley. Most of the top Chateau St. Jean wines are produced predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir; however, the winery also utilizes Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer, Malbec and Syrah. Some of Chateau St. Jean’s highly rated wines include the estate’s Reserve line and the Cinq Cépages red blend, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. For more information on Chateau St. Jean and its selection of wines, be sure to check out our Chateau St. Jean wine ratings.
What a roll St. Jean has been on with Chardonnay. This wine was made from a majority of Robert Young and Belle Terre vineyard fruit, and is two-thirds new French oak. The combination is mind-blowing. The vineyards contribute concentrated spicy, tropical fruit flavors and perfect acid balance, while the oak provides elaborate seasoning. Absolutely delicious. One of…
Easily one of the greatest California Merlots ever. Notable for its complete balance. Nothing sticks out; all the parts work together. The black cherry, plum, black currant, dark chocolate and licorice fruit is big, but perfectly balanced with smoky, sweet oak, while a subtle touch of violets brings a smack of the earth. The tannin-acid structure is just beautiful…
Chateau St. Jean continues to teach Chard wannabes how the game is played. This is a huge wine, but one of extraordinary finesse and interest. One reason is winemaker Margo van Staaveren’s instinct for controlled tension. Another is the winery’s access to fruit from throughout the county. Rich and opulent and powerful, this Chardonnay is, in a word, great.
Texture is the name of the game here. We’re talking pure velvet, the way the wine glides over the palate with hardly a wrinkle. Beyond the mouthfeel are flavors so complex, they’re hard to describe. The blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, with contributions from Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, and each grape brings its own distinction, as does 100% new oak…
Smooth and complex, with 78% Cab Sauvignon contributing the firm tannic backbone that gives this such excellent structure. The other four Bordeaux varieties are here as well. The flavors are so interesting: black cherries, blackberry jam, plum sauce, coffee, root beer and new oak. There’s an acidic vibrancy as well. Just beautiful California claret. Drink now—2010.
The winery’s reserve Chard has consistently been the best among their five Chards. The ’05 is a dramatic wine, although oak-o-phobes might find it toothpicky. It is smoky and buttery and caramelly, but a year or so should knit that together with the ripe tropical fruits and make the wine seamlessly complex.
Another superb Cinq Cépages. A blend of all five classic Bordeaux grape varieties-, but based on Cabernet Sauvignon, it is both immediately pleasurable and intensely complex. Waves of black currants, dark chocolate, green olives, licorice and toasty oak roll across the palate, wrapped into firm, dusty tannins. Very good now but should develop further over the next…
A huge, full-on, ripe and supple red wine that is buttery smooth on the palate yet offers the structure to support a rich flavor profile including chocolate, plum, cassis, vanilla, coffee, herb and spice. Very long and velvety on the finish.