Chateau St Jean – back to 1996

Sonoma County’s Chateau St Jean produces a prodigious volume of remarkably good wine (400,000 cases per year), cutting a wide varietal swathe that includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons and Reserve Merlots are small-production show-stoppers; the La Petite Etoile Fume Blanc is a rare (and intriguingly spicy) California single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc; and winemaker Margo Van Staaveren has a deft hand with Malbec as both a blender and a stand-alone bottling.
Yet Chateau St Jean’s icons are its Robert Young Vineyard Chardonnays and Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignons. The...