Chateau St. Jean’s Reserve wines are crafted by selecting the vineyard lots from throughout Sonoma County that offer the most generous fruit expression and the ability to age. Our line of Reserves wines includes incredible expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Malbec.
The Reserve Malbec was blended with a small amount of Merlot to round out the final blend. Individual lots of each variety were aged separately in small French oak barrels . Barrel by barrel, each lot was tasted and the most outstanding Malbec barrels were selected and then blended with specific lots of Merlot to complete the final wine.
Reserved behind its opaque ruby-plum shades, the 2016 Reserve Malbec leaps out of the glass with a deep, rich perfume and sweet notes of boysenberry confiture, dark plum jam, cassis and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and bold, concentrated with blackberries, black currant and kirsch layered subtly with notes of cocoa and molasses. The smaller component of Cabernet Sauvignon adds richness and complexity to the blend, and an acid backbone that provides balance to this classic fruit-driven and appealing Malbec.
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren has championed Malbec and believes the variety flourishes in Sonoma at selected sites. It has become one of her favorite wines to bottle as a varietal. The 2016 vintage shows the diversity of Sonoma terroirs with the grapes sourced from Knights Valley, a remote and bucolic location in the shadow of Mount St. Helena with hilly terrain that descends to rocky, alluvial soils where ancient rivers once ran. Warm during the day, cool at night, this well-draining site produces bold and richly structured reds with intense dark fruit.
The Reserve Malbec was blended with 11% of Cabernet Sauvignon to round out the final blend. Individual lots of each variety were aged separately for 29 months exclusively in small French oak barrels (66% new). Barrel by barrel, each lot was tasted and the most outstanding Malbec barrels were selected and then blended with specific lots of Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to complete the final wine.