Chateau St. Jean makes its home in the heart of Sonoma, a region of dramatic diversity perfect for growing a wide variety of exceptional grapes. The Dry Creek Valley is one of Sonoma's smallest applications and offered an ideal climate with long warm days and cool nights. The coastal and inland influences give this Merlot a rich and complex mouthfeel - a true example of the unique climate in Dry Creek Valley.
This Dry Creek Valley Merlot opens with fragrant aromas of bramble berry mixed mountain berries, black raspberry, black plum with hints of a savory chaparral-like lavender perfume. The nose of the wine rings true on the palate with pure fruit flavors of black raspberry, boysenberry and mulberry, plus intriguing nuances of plum galette and subtle black licorice. The wine is plush and well-balanced with tightly knit tannins and a lengthy finish. It’s very reminiscent of a Minervois style of wine from the hills of Southern France.
The 2015 growing season was another beautiful vintage with mild temperatures and no weather upsets throughout. The season got off to an early start in the spring and continued through to an early start of harvest with dry and uniform weather. The resulting grapes, although overall yields were slightly down, were of very high quality.
This fourth vintage of Chateau St. Jean’s Dry Creek Valley Merlot is sourced from the Louvau Vineyard located on the Dry Creek Valley bench. The vineyard is well-drained and has naturally restrictive soils to force the vines to focus on producing concentrated, flavorful fruit.
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.