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Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages (half-bottle) 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
  • WE94
0% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • V94
  • WW93
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • WE94
  • RP94
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  • RP90
  • WE92
  • RP90
  • WE92
  • WE92
  • W&S90
  • RP92
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • WS95
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • WS96
  • RP94
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Just beautiful California claret."
-Wine Enthusiast

Cinq Cépages ("Five Varieties") is a Bordeaux-style blend consisting of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot. Each component is aged separately for two years in small French oak barrels (56% new) before blending. Once the wine is assembled, it spends six months in the bottle before release.

Fruit for this Cabernet Sauvignon was selected from the finest Bordeaux variety vineyards in Sonoma County: 60% from Alexander Valley, 15% from Sonoma Valley, 15% from Knights Valley, 6% from Russian River Valley and 4% Dry Creek Valley to assemble a wine that showcases Sonoma County. The Alexander Valley grapes highlight bright berry with back notes of dried herbs, while the Sonoma Valley fruit is from the St. Jean Estate Vineyard, and brings black and dense mountain fruit to the blend. The Knights Valley fruit adds a firm mouthfeel and pronounced tannins and the Dry Creek Valley grapes tend toward dark, dense black cherry and berry fruit flavors with a rich mouthfeel. The Russian River Valley brings exotic aromas and lush textures to complete the blend.

A classic Cinq Cépages, the 2003 vintage offers the signature chocolate-covered cherry and boysenberry aromas that have come to define this flagship Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. Lush, elegant and gracefully balanced, the wine delivers sweet plum and dark berry flavors and an exotic floral note that wraps around big, juicy tannins. This highly concentrated wine has beautiful oak integration and a lushness throughout that leads to a lingering finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
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Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean

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Chateau St. Jean, Sonoma County, California
2003 Cinq Cepages (half-bottle)
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.

HOR061553_2003 Item# 94314

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