Chateau St. Jean's Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of the most interesting attributes of different Pinot Noir clones. For the 2015 vintage, we have blended the seductive textures of Clone 777 with the assertive dark fruit and earthy qualities of clone 828 to produce a Pinot Noir with elegant complexity and depth of flavor. Supple, silky tannins support layers of black cherry, spice and floral notes.
The Russian River Valley is a diverse appellation. The grapes for this wine were selected from the Hallberg vineyard located outside of Sebastopol. The vineyard is managed by Kirk Lokka who is committed to growing the finest Pinot Noir possible. The vineyard is unique with Goldridge sandy-loam soils and enjoys beautiful sunny afternoon weather tempered by fog and cooling coastal breezes. Three well-known and highly regarded Dijon clones were selected for this wine. Pinot Noir clone 777 is marked by smaller clusters on the vine while Clone 828 has larger, long and slender clusters. Both offer unique character like deep color, black cherry and cassis aromas, and focused sweet berry flavor. The third clone, 115 offers balance and a sensuous aromatic profile. All of the clones bring distinctive attributes and work well together in the final blend.
The 2015 growing season was another beautiful vintage with mild temperatures and no weather upsets throughout. The season got off to an early start in the spring and continued through to an early start of harvest with dry and uniform weather. The resulting grapes, although overall yields were slightly down, were of very high quality.
The Pinot Noir grapes were handled very gently from vineyard to winery. To start, the grapes underwent a three day cold soak prior to fermentation. Following fermentation, the free run juice was drained and the new wine sent directly to barrel to complete malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 17 months in 100% French oak (approximately 70% new) before being assembled, bottled and allowed an additional six months of age before release.