A wine with a bit of history: before the Bear Flag revolt, when California gained independence from Mexico, what we know as Knights Valley was originally called Mallacomes Valley. Mallacomes Ranch was part of the original Rancho Mallacomes Mexican land grant in 1843. Thomas Knight, who was part of California’s drive to independence, registered his claim in 1852, just two years after California joined the Union. We honor him and the bold spirit that helped form California and this outstanding growing region, known both for its rustic beauty and rocky, alluvial soils where a warm and extended growing season produces equally bold Cabernet fruit that rivals the best California has to offer.
“This ranch was originally part of a Mexican land grant given in 1843 and later registered to Thomas Knight, the namesake of the appellation. The wine is viscous and thick in tannin and supple, soft black fruit, a mix of blackberry and dark cherry dipped in a richness of mocha and caramel." —Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2020
Enticing purple hues in the glass give way to aromas of sweet jasmine tea and floral notes leading to a wine rich in concentrated flavors of blackberry, mulberry and lingonberry, accented with cranberry and cherry jam. Black licorice, dark chocolate and cassis are balanced with wonderfully flavorful caramel cream. Medium to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins and balanced acidity. A worthy illustration of all that Knights Valley has to offer.
The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter vintage of 2015, and the extended mild season helped balance the acids and add complexity to the fruit.
The fruit was selected from a focused section of our Knights Valley Mallacomes Ranch vineyard that produces exceptional fruit.
After fermentation in stainless steel, the wine was barreled to a blend of French and American oak, with about 7% overall in new oak. Following aging for 20 months in barrel, the lots were blended and bottled before allowing the wine to rest for another nine months prior to release.
Margo Van Staaveren’s has been Winemaker for Chateau St. Jean since 2003 and has worked at the winery for over 40 harvests. She was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2008. During her long tenure with the winery, Margo has played a pivotal role in every facet of the winemaking process. As winemaker, she makes the final decisions involving blend and style to produce consistently high quality wines in the super premium and luxury category.
|Oak Treatment||20 Months in French (7% new)|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Case Production||590 CASES|