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Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay 2005

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • WE94
  • WS92
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

Chateau St. Jean's Reserve wines are crafted by selecting the vineyard lots from throughout Sonoma County that offer the most generous fruit expression and the ability to age. The 2005 Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay is our 9th vintage of this wine. For this blend, we selected fruit from the critically acclaimed Robert Young Vineyard (54%) and Belle Terre Vineyard (19%) in the Alexander Valley along with Durell Vineyard (16%) in Sonoma Valley and Cold Creek Vineyard (11%) in Carneros.

This medium-bodied Reserve Chardonnay opens with inviting aromas of lemon citrus, mango and fig. Unctuous notes of creamy lemon bar and papaya are layered with subtle hints of hazelnut and clove. The well-balanced acidity and complexity of flavors lead to a long finish with hints of vanilla and lemon oil.

Critical Acclaim

WE 94
Wine Enthusiast

The winery’s reserve Chard has consistently been the best among their five Chards. The ’05 is a dramatic wine, although oak-o-phobes might find it toothpicky. It is smoky and buttery and caramelly, but a year or so should knit that together with the ripe tropical fruits and make the wine seamlessly complex.

WS 92
Wine Spectator

Honey, fig, butterscotch and melon get a nice smoky, toasty oak edge. Holds onto a tight core of smoky, fruity flavors that give this an exotic yet elegant mouthfeel. Drink now through 2011. 4,029 cases made.

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

Offering loads of tangerine oil, lemon blossom, pineapple, and brioche characteristics, the 2005 Chardonnay Reserve is a full-bodied, dense, fruit-laden effort that will provide pleasure over the next 3-4 years.

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Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean

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Chateau St. Jean, , California
Chateau St. Jean
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.

Corbieres

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

SWS191505_2005 Item# 98382

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