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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.

Cote Rotie

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

SWS191505_2005 Item# 98382

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