2005 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, Sonoma

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VERDICT: "Smashing stuff"
www.chateaustjean.com Review by Clinton Stark

I had the opportunity to taste the current releases from Chateau St. Jean winery in Sonoma. My absolute favorite, among several standouts, was this Chardonnay. Wow. If you are looking for a representative of this so-called new style Napa Chard (i.e. less Oaky), this would be near the top the list.

The nose is toasty, with hints of melon. I like the subtle butterscotch on finish. A welcome change-up to the standard overly buttery fare.

Structure is excellent with moderate tannins that balance well with the smoky tones. The acidity helps add complexity and depth.

3,000 cases. The grapes are sourced from 4 vineyards: Robery Young Vineyard (50%), Belle Terre (20%), Durell (20%), Cold Creek (10%).

I really enjoyed this wine. It was my top pick on this sunny Sonoma day. While Napa continues to get big headlines, it also gets big pricing. So, from time to time, don’t forget to look to its coastal neighbor for exceptional value and quality.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear