Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Dry Creek Valley
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren
Chateau St. Jean makes its home in the heart of Sonoma, a region of dramatic diversity perfect for growing a wide variety of exceptional grapes. The Dry Creek Valley is one of Sonoma's smallest applications and offered an ideal climate with long warm days and cool nights. The coastal and inland influences give this Merlot a rich and complex mouthfeel - a true example of the unique climate in Dry Creek Valley.

Tasting Notes

This Dry Creek Valley Merlot opens with fragrant aromas of bramble berry mixed mountain berries, black raspberry, black plum with hints of a savory chaparral-like lavender perfume. The nose of the wine rings true on the palate with pure fruit flavors of black raspberry, boysenberry and mulberry, plus intriguing nuances of plum galette and subtle black licorice. The wine is plush and well-balanced with tightly knit tannins and a lengthy finish.  It’s very reminiscent of a Minervois style of wine from the hills of Southern France.

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).     

Vintage Notes

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. 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.