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.
Gentle fruit handling and cap management are key winemaking touchstones for Pinot Noir. Cold soaking before fermentation allows for the extraction of more color and flavor from this relatively thin-skinned grape. We seek the best extraction of color, flavor and tannins from the skins. Each lot is assessed, and individual barrels are tasted at milestones, allowing those barrels showing the greatest intensity to be set aside for the Reserve bottling. After 18 months of barrel aging in 100% French oak (77% new), the final blend selection is made and assembled. Bottled unfined and gently filtered, this wine receives an additional six months of bottle age before its release.
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.