Alexander Valley is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that thrive from the valley floor all the way up the rolling hillsides and mountain ridges. The gravelly loam soils straddling the Russian River also encourage other varietals like Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc to flourish. This vintage captures the hallmark characteristics of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - rich, fleshy and voluptuous.
"This is a really luscious, rich cab, yet it remains fresh and tensioned with underlying chocolate and vanilla character to the full body and round tannins. Give it time to come together. Better after 2022.” - James Suckling
Deep ruby in color, this Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a huge amount of blueberry, plum, and violets on the nose, with oak spices shining through. On the palate, blue fruit flavors combine with cassis and plum to create a very deep berry and fruit profile. The wine finishes with strong oak spice supported by the tannic structure. Very drinkable with a strong acidity complementing the tannins and fruit flavors. Drink now, or cellar for up to 15 years.
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. 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.
The fruit was selected from several vineyard sites throughout the Alexander Valley where Cabernet Sauvignon grows best including some of St. Jean’s traditional sources: Asti Vineyard, Treehouse Vineyard and Stuhlmuller Vineyard. Petite Sirah came from the Salman Farms.
While predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, a small amount of Petite Sirah (2%) was blended to enhance texture and aroma of the wine. After fermentation in stainless steel, the wine was barreled to a blend of French and American oak, with about 31% overall in new oak. Following aging for 24 months in barrel, the lots were blended and bottled before allowing the wine to rest for another nine months prior to release.
Margo Van Staaveren’s has been Winemaker for Chateau St. Jean since 2003 and has worked at the winery for over 40 harvests. She was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2008. During her long tenure with the winery, Margo has played a pivotal role in every facet of the winemaking process. As winemaker, she makes the final decisions involving blend and style to produce consistently high quality wines in the super premium and luxury category.
|Oak Treatment||24 Months in French & American oak (31% new oak)|
|Blend||98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petite Sirah|
|Case Production||1034 cases|