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Flat front label of wine

Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1999

  • WS95
  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine always reminds me of the holidays, claims Winemaker Steve Reeder, I lift the glass and welcoming aromas of Yule log, chocolate covered cherries and mocha, invite me in every time. When I taste this wine, I get a medium-bodied entry with big extract that leads to flavors of mocha, black plum, cola and bittersweet chocolate with good intensity and fruit oriented firm tannins. This is a well-structured and well-integrated wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Gorgeous Cabernet, offering a mix of ripe, rich, fleshy currant and blackberry fruit, with hints of herb, olive and sage. Finishes with a firm, structured backbone and ripe tannins giving it depth and richness.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
While the 13,000-case cuvee of 1999 Cinq Cepages (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot) is not as prodigious as the 1997 or 1996, it is potentially outstanding. This New World version of a high class St.-Emilion boasts an opaque ruby/purple color in addition to a sweet bouquet of licorice, dried herbs, tobacco, smoke, black cherries, and cassis. It is medium to full-bodied, with a lovely texture, admirable complexity, and a long finish. The question mark relates to the notion of elevated, dry tannin in the finish. My instincts suggest this characteristic will age out given the wine's overall concentration and intensity.
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Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean

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Chateau St. Jean, California
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Founded in 1973 in the Sonoma Valley, Chateau St. Jean is the quintessential Sonoma winery. Chateau St. Jean produces an extensive portfolio of Sonoma County wines as well as vineyard designated wines, limited production Reserve wines, and the flagship Cinq Cépages Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren uses her more than 30 years of vineyard and winemaking expertise with Chateau St. Jean to continue the tradition of highlighting the best of each vineyard site to produce exceptional wines. Chateau St. Jean was the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious “Wine of the Year” award from Wine Spectator Magazine for its 1996 Cinq Cépages, a Bordeaux style blend of “five varieties” and has long been recognized as a leader in vineyard designated wines.

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

KHM54705_1999 Item# 54705

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