2017 Sonoma Napa Wine Experience started on the Sonoma Coast and worked east along the Russian River Valley ending up in Sonoma Valley at one of its crown jewel estates, Chateau St Jean. Bill C., a wine club member arranged for a special Reserve private tasting. This estate is one of the most picturesque and authentic in the Sonoma Valley and is more civil and hospitable than some of the garish ostentatious properties in the more highly commercialized Napa Valley. This was a perfect buffer and transition from the more relaxed Sonoma County to the Valley as we transitioned to spend the coming week in Napa (Valley).
While we have collected St Jean wines for decades, this was an adventurous tasting exploring and discovering new white and red labels from the outer reaches of Sonoma Coast and Sonoma County. This was especially interesting as we spend the first couple of days getting better acquainted with appellations setting the stage for more immersive focused visits in coming trips.
Le Seul Sonoma Coast Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Chateau St Jean Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Winemakers notes: The 2014 Chateau St. Jean Reserve Chardonnay offers complex aromas of both sweet and savory notes including lemon crème pie, nectarine and toasted almond and spiced tea. The nose rings true on the palate with layered flavors of cantaloupe melon and mango, lemon curd and baking spice. The well structured wine is balanced with a warm, rich texture and expressive acidity. The finish is pure and lingers with a classic lemon oil flavor that is a hallmark for the Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay.
Chateau St Jean Sonoma County Reserve Pinot Noir 2014
Chateau St Jean Sonoma County Cinq Cepages Red Blend 2013
The aromas lead to a plush palate with depth of flavors including raspberry compote and dark chocolate. The full-bodied wine is rich and refined with well-integrated, ripe tannins giving good structure. In signature Cinq Cépages form, this wine combines the strength of the diverse Sonoma County region to create an approachable, well-balanced and elegant wine.
The 2013 Cinq Cépages (“Five Varieties”) is a blend of the classic Bordeaux grapes consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon (76%), Merlot (13%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Malbec (3%), and Petit Verdot (3%). All five varietal components are used each vintage to create the stylized blend that is Cinq Cépages. Before blending, each component is aged separately for twenty-three months exclusively in French oak, with just over half of all the barrels being new (51%). Once the components are assembled, the blend spends almost an entire additional year in the bottle before release.
This was dark inky purple colored, medium full bodied, complex, rich and concentrated black berry fruits with layers of anise and graphite with tones of oak and spices on a smooth lingering tannin finish.
RM 93 points.
Chateau St Jean St Jean Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2014
This was a bonus pour beyond scope of our planned tasting and it was a real treat. Dark inky purplish garnet colored, full bodied, concentrated forward black raspberry and black currant fruits accented by sweet floral tones, spicy acidity and an undercurrent of mocha. Loved it! Limited release, available only at the winery.
RM 92 points.
More to come ...