Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Pinot Noir
Region Sonoma Valley
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren
Harvest Dates Aug. 31- Sept. 8, 2016 Harvest Sugar 26.1° Avg Brix Sourcing Russian River Valley 62% Carneros 22% Sonoma Valley 16% Total Acidity 0.55 g/100 ml pH 3.65 Alcohol 14.8% ABV

Tasting Notes

A touch floral on the nose, flavors lead with notes of strawberry and dark black cherry, along with ripe plums and raspberry. Mineral notes are joined by black tea, baking spice and cardamom. Medium to full bodied, there is solid acidity and evident tannin. The wine is well-structured, leading to a lingering, notable finish.

Winemaking Notes

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.

Vineyard Notes

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. In this vintage, we selected clone 667 from the Grace block 6E7 in Carneros, as well as clone 115 and 777 from two of our favorite blocks in the Hallberg vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Finally, clone 777 also came from the Hill block in the Durrell Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The grapes from these vineyards provide structure and fine-grained tannins, along with beautifully concentrated fruit flavors.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. Following a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. 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.