Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Pinot Noir
Region Russian River
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren

Chateau St. Jean's Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of the most interesting attributes of different Pinot Noir clones. For the 2016 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.

92 Points - The Wine Advocate

“The 2016 Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard (aged in 31% new French oak for 16 months) has a medium to deep ruby-purple color and bursts from the glass with crushed black cherries, black raspberries and redcurrants with touches of lavender, tilled loam and fallen leaves plus a waft of sage. Medium to full bodied, the palate features a firm frame of grainy tannins and lovely freshness lifting the black and red berries to a long finish.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2018

Tasting Notes

A crowd pleaser with a rich, plush mouthfeel and dominant aromas and flavors of bright red fruit such as bing cherry, raspberry and subtle hints of cherry compote. Notes of baking spices led by cinnamon and clove frame well-balanced acidity and silky tannins, leading to a lingering finish. A touch of minerality completes the flavor profile.

Vineyard Notes

Grapes for this wine were selected from the Hallberg vineyard just outside Sebastopol. The vineyard features Goldridge sandy-loam soils and enjoys beautiful sunny afternoon weather tempered by fog and cooling coastal breezes from the Pacific, about 20 miles away. For this vintage of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Margo selected fruit featuring the Dijon clone 777 (15%) and clone 828 (85%). Clone 777 originated in the Morey St Denis region of the Cote d’Or, and features small concentrated berries and small clusters with strong and intense color and aroma. Burgundian clone 828 arrived as a “suitcase” clone, brought from France surreptitiously. The clone is known for fruit with medium size, intense and fruity, round and full with good aging potential.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. 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. 

Winemaking Notes

The Pinot Noir grapes were handled very gently from vineyard to winery. Fruit underwent a three-day cold soak prior to fermentation. Free run juice was drained and the new wine sent directly to barrel to complete malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 16 months in 100% French oak (28% new) before being assembled, bottled and allowed an additional six months of age before release.