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Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • V92
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Winemaker Notes

This Reserve Chardonnay opens with inviting aromas of lemon cream pie, toasted hazelnuts and some undertones of tropical fruit. Complex layers of flavor include notes of mandarin orange, lemon zest and subtle hints of brown butter and clove spice. The wine is well-balanced with a solid structure and rich texture. The lively finish lingers with touches of vanilla and lemon oil.

Critical Acclaim

V 92
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

e 2009 Chardonnay Reserve is a selection of the estate’s best barrels. Apricots, peaches, flowers, mint, tangerine and honey are all woven together in this plush, textured Chardonnay. A round, creamy finish supported by French oak imparts a feeling of seamlessness and harmony. The Reserve spends 16-17 months in French oak, the longest barrel aging of any of the St. Jean Chardonnays. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019.

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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.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts...

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

RRM63491_2009 Item# 110311

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