The 2011 Chateau St Jean California Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from vineyards in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles in the Central Coast AVA and vineyards in Sonoma to Lake County in the North Coast AVA. Chateau St Jean is known for their high-end Estate wines, but the this is their entry level Cabernet Sauvignon and sourced from contracted vineyards. The winemaker, Margo Van Staaveren, has been making wine at Chateau St Jean for 30 years. The wine is aged in French and American oak for up to 8 months and the alcohol content is 13.9%.
The color is crimson red with a multitude of black highlights. The nose is blackberry, newly mown lawn, dark chocolate, oak spice, plum and spearmint chewing gum. This is a full bodied, dry, Cabernet, with good balance to the fruit flavors. It starts with extracted blackberry, sleepy time tea, Dove chocolate and blueberry. The mid palate brings a little pull from the tannins, along with cranberry and a muted slap of Altoid’s spice. The acidity is nicely balanced and the finish is full and lengthy.
The 2011 Chateau St Jean California Cabernet Sauvignon is a very solid Cali Cab, tasty, well made, with firm,but not overpowering tannins. The tannins, the oak, the fruit and other flavors are all nicely proportioned. It works as a “sitting with friends in deep conversation” kind of wine and equally as well as “get the coals fired up on the Weber grill we got steaks to grill” kind of wine. If you want a “drink it now,” affordable California Cabernet Sauvignon, the Chateau St Jean is right on the money.