Vintage 2014
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Dry Creek Valley
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren

This third vintage of Chateau St. Jean’s Dry Creek Valley Merlot is sourced from the Louvau Vineyard located on the Dry Creek Valley bench. The vineyard’s well-drained, and naturally restrictive soils force the vines to focus on producing concentrated fruit.

Tasting Notes

This Dry Creek Valley Merlot opens with vivid aromas of macerated fresh mixed berries, lavender perfume and brown spice notes. The nose of the wine rings true on the palate with pure fruit flavors of raspberry, boysenberry, spice and subtle black licorice. The wine is plush and well-balanced with tightly knit tannins and a lengthy finish.

Vineyard Notes

Dry Creek Valley, one of the smallest AVAs in size (16 miles long by 2 miles wide) is home to over 9,000 acres of vineyards that cover the valley floor, benchland and hillsides. With a grape growing history going back 140 years, Dry Creek Valley is ideally situated for winegrapes. Bordered by Lake Sonoma in the north and the confluence of Dry Creek and the Russian River to the south, the valley is classified as a Region II climate for grape growing (similar to Bordeaux region in France).     

Vinatge Notes

Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012.  The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start.  Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early bud break and veraison, harvest was unusually early in 2014.   


Winemaking Notes

This Merlot is blended with 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, also from the Louvau Vineyard, by selecting barrels with the greatest varietal focus and expression. The wine was fermented in small lots and aged for 15 months in roughly half American and half French oak barrels before being blended and bottled.