Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages

The wine.

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Margo Van Staaveren has been the winemaker at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma, California for over two decades. In that time, she and her team have come to learn a thing or two about their estate wines, the grapes they grow there, and what they can do to make even better wines. One of the flagships of the winery is a consistently splendid Cinq Cépages (literally, five vines, or five varieties of grapes). The wine is clearly dominated by cabernet sauvignon, but Van Staaveren’s blending skills are on ample display. Depending on the vintage, there are varying amounts of cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot, and malbec to augment the cabernet. Be careful who you share a bottle with; there may some dispute as to who gets how much, $75.

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May 7, 2014