Vintage 2016
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region Alexander Valley
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren

Chateau St Jean has crafted this single-vineyard wine for nearly 40 years. This classic Chardonnay fruit comes from the famous Robert Young Vineyard located in central Alexander Valley. The wine is approachable, bright and surprisingly, very age-worthy. It captures the true hallmarks of Sonoma County Chardonnay.

90 Points - Wine Advocate

“Aged in 12% new French oak for 14 months, the 2016 Chardonnay Robert Young Vineyard features ripe Golden Delicious apples, fresh apricots and honeydew melon with nuances of fresh ginger and almond croissant. Medium bodied with a lovely satiny texture, it has a lovely toastiness in the mouth and a long, refreshing finish.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2018

Tasting Notes

This classic Sonoma wine offers the hallmark aromas that are distinctive to the Robert Young vineyard – bright lemon citrus, ripe stone fruit, and lanolin. The inviting aromas lead to a full mouthfeel where the palate is filled with flavors of white peach, fresh Meyer lemon, toasted almond and subtle nutmeg spice. The wine offers a creamy texture from lees stirring, vibrant acidity and long-lasting lemon oil finish.

The Vineyard

The famous Robert Young Vineyard is located in the north central Alexander Valley of Sonoma County. The Chardonnay plantings are in rich, alluvial clay soils. Robert Young saw an opportunity to custom tailor a Chardonnay clone that was best suited for his vineyard site. Using the best selection from his original plantings of the Wente clone, Robert Young had his “Robert Young Clone” certified in 1989. In order for this wine to be designated Reserve, Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren hand-selects the individual barrels that show the greatest fruit intensity and the purest representation of the Robert Young Vineyard site.

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. 


Selections from two favorite blocks were harvested individually on different days, with each kept separate throughout the winemaking process. Classic winemaking techniques were used, including 100% barrel fermentation and sur lie aging exclusively in small, French oak (12% new), for 14 months. As in past vintages, the wine is made without malolactic fermentation.