Chateau St. Jean’s Reserve wines are crafted by selecting the vineyard lots throughout Sonoma County offering the most generous fruit expression and the ability to age. This 2015 Reserve bottling is a blend of Pinot Noir from vineyards in Russian River Valley as well vineyards from Sonoma Coast. The grapes from these vineyards provide structure and fine-grained tannins, along with beautifully concentrated fruit flavors.
Gentle fruit handling is paramount to great Pinot Noir production. Cap management and cold soaking are also key parts of the equation. Cold soaking before fermentation allows for the extraction of more color and flavor from this relatively thin-skinned grape. We utilize both open and closed top fermenters for our Pinot Noir, focusing on careful movement of the cap. This regime results in the best extraction of color, flavor and tannins from the skin.
Each lot is assessed and individual barrels are tasted, and those barrels that show the greatest intensity are kept aside for the Reserve bottling. After barrel aging in French oak, the final selection is determined and the blend is assembled. Bottled unfined, this wine receives additional bottle age before its release.