Never has there been a more highly-recommended supermarket brand by me than Chateau St. Jean. Even down at the ‘Sonoma County’ level (I think there’s even ‘California’ now) the quality of this huge producer is solid for the price. Here we’re taking it up a few notches to Alex and from a favorite Napa vintage: 2011. Clocking in at probably around 20 bucks, this is a stunning little bottle. Just starting to show a little ruddy garnet at the rim, the glass is beautiful medium ruby and the nose ethereal. Immediate sharp conifer greenery and hillside rockiness, the fruit a thick blackberry layered on spice and nutty splendor. The tertiary is perfect and well-aligned with the dusty fruit, making for an astonishingly awesome bottle for the price-point.
A bit thin in the mouth, fruit faded below the structure but still juicy and relevant. Peppery cherry and deep berry are laid copiously on stony, steely grit and grain. Tannin is still on 11–typical of Alex–but nowhere overwhelming of the body. A gorgeous wine, nowhere NEAR done–literally DECADES to go. I wish I had a case of these to visit in the next 30 years. Yes, that long. It’s THAT good. Checking the website, apparently this is an 85$ bottle of wine now. Long gone are the Rite-Aid and Longs Drug offerings. I paid probably less than a quarter of that. Big sigh.
2011 CHATEAU ST. JEAN Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma Co. 14.4