Pinot Noir is a grape that must be grown in the right place. The "right places" in Sonoma County are the Russian River Valley and the Carneros district. Both regions are ideal for Pinot Noir because of cool growing conditions. When making the blend for this Sonoma County Pinot Noir, we prefer the backbone of the wine to be predominately Carneros while we use fruit from the Russian River Valley to heighten the blend. The majority of the Pinot Noir for this 2007 offering came from the Carneros region – mostly from the Benoist Ranch and Durell Vineyard – while 15% is from the Russian River Valley.
Youthful and inviting, this Pinot Noir displays lovely aromas of raspberry, cherry and plum as well as hints of rose and leather. The palate offers jammy fruit flavors and round tannins that give a creamy texture and a long fruit-driven finish.
"Translucent cherry red hue. Bright aromas of cherry juice, black fruit and brown sugar. Spicy black pepper, clove and continued cherry notes framed by well-integrated acidity. Charming oak notes, red berry and mocha all wrapped up in a buttery-textured finish."
The Wine News
"A delicate, silky and sensual Pinot Noir that shows real value. Firmed and toned by racy acidity, it shows polished flaovrs of raspberries, sassafras, cola and cinnamon spice."
This wine is exactly what I look for in pinot. I'm cost conscious, so I'm always looking for good ones under $30. This one leans towards the strawberry/raspberry fruit side (my preferance), typical medium light body, excellent food-worthy acid balance, some light minerally notes, gentle tannins - ready to drink but also will improve for another 3 or 4 years, I imagine.
OK - I like the Chateau St. Jean wines in general. Especially their Chardonnay. This Pinot had a similar body to the Chard so you have an almost buttery flavor but it's a try Pinot so you really get to enjoy the best of both worlds.