1996 Chateau St. Jean "Cinq Cépages" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301366 93 points Wine Spectator

 * Wine of the Year 1999 * Few things in wine are as frustrating as experiencing difficulties with a great bottling that you’re long on. That’s been the case for me with the 1996 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages, Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year in 1999. With a 95-point rating, 11,000 cases made and a $28 price tag, it was one of the easier picks we’ve made over the years. Since this Sonoma County wine was so delicious and readily available, I bought two cases so I could share the wine experience with friends as often as possible. For the first decade or so, it consistently drank exceptionally well, never once letting me down. Then for several years it went through a phase where it typically offered less depth, fruit and complexity. I’ve tried perhaps six bottles from the winery itself, and on those occasions it seemed to lack a little pizzazz. This California red has always been Bordeaux-like in its structure, concentration and finesse. Indeed, the name Cinq Cépages comes from the use of the five major grapes used in Bordeaux. Chateau St. Jean sourced grapes for this wine from throughout Sonoma County. About a year ago, Dan Gustafson, a longtime friend, brought a bottle to dinner...It was complex, layered, elegant and refined, with cedary cigar box, tobacco, currant and black licorice - trim and tapered. It was nice to see it in tip-top shape. 93 points, non-blind. (James Laube, What We're Drinking Now, 8/2010)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The dark ruby/purple-colored 1996 Cinq Cepages (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot) exhibits a moderately intense nose of black cherries, chocolate, smoke, dried herbs, and toasty oak. As reported last year, it appears to be California's version of a big, rich St.-Emilion. Offering elegance and finesse along with copious quantities of fruit, glycerin, and flavor, this medium to full-bodied wine has evolved nicely over the last year. (RP)  (2/2000)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Toast and heavily roasted coffee-bean aromas dominate the nose at first, but a bright core of black-currant and blackberry fruit begins to emerge with vigorous swirling. Shows impressive concentration, a gorgeous silky mouthfeel and fine tannins, with only a bit of astringency on the finish—something that a few years in the cellar should cure.  (2/2000)

Jancis Robinson

 Wine Spectator named this the top wine in the world in 1999, with price (then $28) and production (11,300 cases) adding to its cachet. Cinq Cepages is now a benchmark Sonoma County Cab, and this one holds up beautifully, with its rich cassis and dark plum character intact, enhanced by complexing notes of sandalwood, licorice, creamy vanilla and tingly acidity. On release, 1996 California Cabs were under-valued, yet today, many, like this wine, show spectacularly. 18.5/20.  (8/2007)

Share |
Price: $99.99
Quantity:
Add To Waiting List

Real Time Inventory by location:

The item you have chosen is not in stock in our retail stores or within our main warehouse.

Product turnaround time varies by location of inventory and your chosen method of shipping/pickup. For a detailed explanation click here.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).