2001 Chateau St. Jean "Reserve" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1344211 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This top-of-the-line Cab surely must be one of the last 2001s to be released. It's an exquisite wine. New oak dominates, with caramelized vanilla and char. But it's appropriate given the size of the fruit. The black currant, Hoison sauce, crème de cassis, milk chocolate and licorice flavors are completely satisfying. Best now and for the next ten years. *Cellar Selection*  (12/2006)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Bigger and richer with greater long term potential, the still youthful, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is composed of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot (14.2% alcohol). It exhibits plenty of cedary black currant notes intermixed with tobacco leaf, incense, licorice and subtle smoky oak in a full-bodied, fleshy, concentrated style. There are some noticeable tannins, but the wine is drinking beautifully, and should keep for another 10-12 years. (RP)  (5/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Remarkably complex and polished, with rich, ripe, delicate currant, blackberry, herb, olive and cedary earth notes. For all its richness and intensity, this remains an elegantly styled wine, with impeccable balance. Finishes with a long, rich, concentrated aftertaste. (JL)  (11/2005)

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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 M├ędoc 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.


- 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.
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).