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Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2006
This is a classic Cinq Cepages with signature notes of blackberry jam, red raspberry, milk chocolate and violet. The palate offers a rich, dark fruit density surrounded by well-structured tannins. Layers of generous black plum and fresh-picked blackberries combine with notes of black tea and mocha. This wine has beautiful oak integration and a lushness throughout that leads to a lingering finish with hints of blackberry and clove.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Showing the usual balance and harmony of this bottling, which is made from the five Bordeaux varieties, the '06 nonetheless lacks a bit of the richness of other vintages. It's beautifully clean and dry, with sound currant, blackberry, herb tea and cedar flavors, but is missing a certain fatness in the middle. Best now–2012.
The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Cinq Cepages (in this vintage, truly a Cabernet Sauvignon rather than a proprietary red as it is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot) possesses soft, seductive notes of cedarwood, roasted herbs, licorice, red and black currants, and dusty, loamy soil undertones. Medium to full-bodied and silky-textured, it can be enjoyed in its youth or cellared for a decade.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, fruity, and powerful wines. With 11 smaller sub-AVAs, there is quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Rhône varieties both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruity, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.