2012 Chateau St. Jean Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1204216 92 points Vinous

 Sweet dark cherries, smoke, graphite and grilled herbs flesh out in the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, a voluptuous, racy wine that captures the essence of the vintage. Firm yet well-integrated tannins support the fruit in a powerful, structured Cabernet Sauvignon that delivers tons of quality for the money. (AG)  (1/2015)

91 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines of 2015* Exhibits ripe and juicy, yet firm, flavors of currant and blackberry amid a gravelly earthiness before finding focus on the finish, where the tannins are chewy, revealing a licorice touch. Drink now through 2025. (JL)  (4/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley (which includes small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc) comes across as more tannic, with notes of blueberries, black raspberries and, boysenberries. The wine possesses good density, that earthy opulence that Alexander Valley Cabernets can provide, and a medium to full-bodied texture. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)  (12/2014)

Wine Enthusiast

 Substantially tannic and robust in tar and tobacco, this wine smells and tastes big and broad, a good choice for generous cuts of meat, preferably grilled. Black cherry and blackberry expand in waves around the oak and tobacco. (VB)  (9/2015)

K&L Notes

This Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon opens with inviting aromas of black cherry, wild blackberries, cloves and pomegranate. The nose leads to a plush mouthfeel filled with fresh berry, and brown spice flavors. The wine is well-structured and has incredible fruit density, balance and an elegant finish. This wine is easy to drink now but will continue to reward with age.

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Price: $23.99
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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/3/2015 | Send Email
Chateau St. Jean. Surely a classic name in California wine but not necessarily one that elicits oohs and ahhs from the wine intelligentsia over the last decade. That being known to me when I tasted the 2012 Alexander Valley Cabernet, I’d have to say that I was completely, shocked, blown away, floored and whatever other preferred adjectives you want to insert here, by the wine. In fact, I’d say it is in my top 5 values of the year regardless of place or varietal. Yes it is that good. Leather and cedar intermingle on the nose leading to a warm-hued and familiar fruit and spice mélange that is about as textbooks as it gets for Cabernet: cassis, black olive, sandalwood, tobacco, leather, bay leaf and black tea. This wine certainly has plenty of fruit, oak, texture and tannin, but where it really shines is how all those pieces perfectly mesh together. “Harmonious” is the word I used in my notes to summarize this wine originally, and tasting it again recently I really couldn’t think of a better descriptor for it. Perfectly drinkable now, this has a firmness of tannin and a wealth of fruit that should keep it vital for the next 6-12 years.

By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2015 | Send Email
This is a great California Cabernet, wonderful layers, rich and ripe dark fruit very luscious and silky finish. Pull the cork and you are good to go! Two Thumbs up !!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/22/2015 | Send Email
Pleasantly surprised by the quality of this Cabernet. Quite serious, with real Cabernet character. Plum, dark fruit, lifted spice, a touch of sweet leather and tobacco. Dry, good firm tannins but not aggressive or extracted. Really solid little Cabernet for the money.

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Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.6