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Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
  • WE94
14.4% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • V94
  • WW93
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  • WE92
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  • RP92
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4.6 4 Ratings
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4.6 4 Ratings
14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Cinq Cepages is a complex and layered wine. Its deep garnet color meets vibrant aromas of blackberry, black plum, clove spice and rich mocha notes in the glass. Secondary aromas of raspberry and cherry mingle with notes of violet and pomegranate. The aromas lead to a juicy palate with flavors of blueberry and blackberry. Nuanced notes of roasted coffee, black tea and a distinct dark chocolate component add to the complexity. The full-bodied wine has smooth, silky tannins that offer solid structure but do not overwhelm. This 20th Anniversary vintage wine is well-balanced and delicious tasting now but powerful enough to reward with cellaring.

Blend: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
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 8–10 years.
Cellar Selection
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Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean

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Chateau St. Jean, Sonoma County, California
2009 Cinq Cepages
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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both 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 and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Bordeaux Blends

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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/or 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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SWS249814_2009 Item# 121680

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