2017 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages Red Blend, Sonoma County
Aged 20 months in 68% new French oak
Elegant and inviting, the 2017 Cinq Cépages opens with beautiful aromas of fresh raspberry, red and black currant, sweet floral fruit, and notes of lavender. The lush mouthfeel is filled with supple fruit, warm milk chocolate, toasted chestnut and fall spice flavors. The vintage of Cinq Cépages showcases incredibly refined and smooth tannins which leave a silky finish. The wine is rewarding now and ready for enjoyment but will also evolve over time with proper cellaring.
The year began with abundant rainfall, followed by a mild spring resulting in extended flowering. Warm late-summer temperatures moved harvest along quickly. Yields for the 2017 vintage were slightly lower than the previous couple of vintages. Overall, the vintage 2017 wines are of excellent quality, host complex flavors, concentrated color, and offer overall finesse.
Cinq Cépages is the flagship wine of Chateau St. Jean. Each year, Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren selects fruit from outstanding and proven Bordeaux varietal vineyards to craft a wine that showcases the very best of Sonoma County. The primary grape sources for the 2017 vintage are from some of the finest appellations throughout Sonoma County. The majority is from Knights Valley (46%) where the fruit highlights boysenberry flavors and elegant tannins. In addition, Cabernet Sauvignon from the Monte Rosso and Mountain Terraces Vineyards in the Moon Mountain add structure, alongside selections from Sonoma Valley including Chateau St. Jean estate Vineyard Malbec. The Louvau vineyard in Dry Creek offers Merlot with lush juiciness and texture, while the Stuhlmuller Vineyard in Alexander Valley brings fruit with savory, dried herb notes and bright berry flavors.
A blend of the classic Bordeaux grapes consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon (83%), Merlot (10%), Cabernet Franc (3%), Malbec (3%), and Petit Verdot (1%). Before blending, each component is aged separately for 20 months in 100% French oak, 63% new. In signature Cinq Cépages form, the wine shows off aromas and flavors of dark fruits, including blackberries and mountain raspberries accented with cassis, black olive, tobacco leaf and black tea. Hints of oak spice and vanilla frame a nicely balanced, well-structured wine that is rich and inviting, round in mouthfeel with a notably lingering finish.