This reserve Chardonnay is a masterful expression of the Robert Young Vineyard's finest fruit. It is barrel fermented and aged sur lie for an extended period of time in small French oak cooperage, then given one year of bottle age before release. It is an intensely flavored, richly textured wine that captures the essence of this highly acclaimed terroir.
This single-vineyard Chardonnay opens with bright aromas of lemon curd, ripe Anjou pear and freshly grated nutmeg spice. The nose is highlighted on the palate with honeysuckle and lemon oil notes. The focused fruit flavors here are a signature of Chardonnay from the Robert Young Vineyard, as is the rich texture and notes of minerality. This well-structured non-malolactic wine has a creamy, full-bodied texture that pulls through to the graceful finish.
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 VanStaaveren hand-selects the individual barrels that show the greatest fruit intensity and the purest representation of the Robert Young Vineyard site
After a 100% barrel fermentation lie aging, individual barrels are tasted and those of great fruit intensity and texture are hand-selected to create the Reserve bottling. The wine ages in French oak barrels (59% new) for 15months before bottling. The wine is given extended bottle age before being released & - ; a true Reserve.
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.