Nestled in the cool, southern portion of the Sonoma Valley the rolling hills of the prestigious Durell Vineyard enjoy the optimum growing conditions for the Chardonnay grape. Barrel fermented in French oak, our Durell Chardonnay has rich texture with complex tropical fruit elements balanced by notes of Meyer lemon.
”The 2017 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard from Chateau St. Jean is pure class. A wine of precision and delineation, the Durell has a feeling of dimension that really distinguishes it in this range. Lemon peel, almond, sage, dried flowers and crushed rocks give the Durell a very pretty savory character. In a word: terrific.”
"The 2017 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard delivers scents of baked apples, green mango and warm apricots with touches of nutmeg, marzipan and honeycomb. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals surprising elegance with loads of spice and stone fruit nuances plus a silken texture, finishing on a yeasty note. 591 cases were made.”Lisa Perrotti-Brown, August 13th, 2020
"A fresh, fruity chardonnay with sliced cooked apples and pears. Medium body. Fruity finish. Just a hint of almond to it all. Subtle and pretty. Drink now.” - James Suckling
Signature Durell minerality, coupled with an intensity and plush mouthfeel are evident in this vintage, with aromas and flavors of creamy nougat, poached pear, tart Meyer lemon and mango quickly following. Golden in color, with bright acidity, the wine lingers in a memorable finish. Oak spice and vanilla complete the flavor profile. Never shy, recognizable and telling of its origins, this is one of Sonoma’s most distinctive and well-known chardonnays.
Overall, 2017 proved to be a slightly smaller yielding vintage but one of exceptional quality. A brief period of warm weather occurred during Labor Day weekend which accelerated the harvest in some areas. Temperatures subsided quickly, and the fruit was allowed to mature and ripen perfectly on the vines before harvest officially began. Overall, a quick and intense harvest, with all the fruit picked early in September. The quality of the vintage shows great flavor intensity, perfect ripening and maturity, lovely balance and complexity.
The celebrated Durell Vineyard, first planted in 1979, is found in the northwestern corner of Carneros on the Sonoma side of this unique growing region. Durell, with 60 distinct blocks on 160 acres, is strongly influenced by the cooling breezes and morning fog from the nearby San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay, and basks in the plentiful afternoon sunshine. Elevations range upwards to 500 feet above sea level. Soils here are sandy, as well as volcanic with rocky Goulding clay loam. Gently rolling slopes benefit from both the cool Bay breezes and warmer clime of Sonoma Valley to the north.
Classic winemaking techniques of barrel fermentation and sur lie aging are used in crafting this single vineyard Chardonnay. Clonal selection plays an important role in the final blend, with both Clone 5 and Clone 15 being used exclusively. After completing 100 % malolactic fermentation, the wine spent 16 months in 100% French oak barrels (32% new), gaining further complexity while resting for six additional months following bottling.
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||100% French Oak (32% new) 16 months|
|Case Production||591 cases|