Chateau St. Jean
2008 Sonoma Valley Estate Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc •St. Jean Estate
California: Sonoma Valley
Today’s Chateau St. Jean 2008 Sonoma Valley Estate Vineyard Cabernet Franc is a truly extraordinary gem of a wine. We did everything that we could to secure an ample allotment, but we were only able to come away with just a handful of cases.
This fantastic Franc melds old world French winemaking sensibilities with the more modern new world American stylings of St. Jean. The Franc is a blending component of the winery’s flagship Cinq Cépages, which is an incredible wine in its own right. What a joy it is to enjoy the same Franc that is in that wine - but all on its own.
Hurry, though, there isn’t very much of this great wine left!
Deepest, darkest garnet at its heart, slowly transitioning to a lovely red ruby edge.
Absolutely lovely and aromatic, with reduced dark fruit of blackberry and sweet plum, tobacco, sweetwood, dried blueberry, black pepper, and sage.
Well balanced and tremendously delicious, with a dark fruit compote of boysenberry, black currant, and black cherry laid overtop sweet tobacco leaf, cassis, black peppercorn, espresso bean, clove, and a touch of rosemary.
Long and lasting, the finish is highlighted by fantastic structure and grippy tannins. A tremendous wine done in a classic Old-World Style!
With a classic French-style wine, we recommend a classic French meal of duck à l’orange.
What the Winery Says
The wine offers bright aromas of blueberry, boysenberry and lavender and is very inviting. These blueberry and boysenberry aromas follow through to the juicy palate along with additional notes of fine chocolate and baking spice flavors. The well-structured wine has integrated, smooth tannins that add complexity. This Cabernet Franc is balanced and offers an extended, flavorful finish.
- Margo Van Staaveren
- Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
- St. Jean Estate Vineyard
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Cabernet Franc
About the Winery
Founded in 1973, Chateau St. Jean was conceived as a true fine wine estate in the European style, where wines from individual vineyards were kept separate to fully capture the individual character of each site. The wines received immediate critical acclaim, and Chateau St. Jean was soon recognized as a leader in single vineyard designated wines.
Chateau St. Jean was the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious “Wine of the Year” award from Wine Spectator Magazine for its 1996 Cinq Cépages, a Bordeaux style blend of “five varieties” and has long been recognized as a leader in vineyard designated wines. Today, our winemaker Margo Van Staaveren calls upon over 30 years of vineyard and winemaking expertise at Chateau St. Jean to highlight the stunning vineyards we work with.
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren
Margo Van Staaveren graduated from UC Davis in 1979, with a B.S. degree in Fermentation Science. Shortly thereafter she joined Chateau St. Jean as a laboratory technician in 1980. She had worked her way up to being named assistant winemaker by 1989, and then was promoted to associate winemaker. Margo was designated as winemaker and director of operations for Chateau St. Jean in August 2003, and continues to work there. During her long tenure with the winery, Margo has played a pivotal role in every facet of the winemaking process. As winemaker, she makes the final decisions involving blend and style to produce consistently high-quality wines in the super premium and luxury categories.
From vineyard to glass, our winemaker Margo Van Staaveren takes a hands on approach, working closely with her winemaking team to oversee each step of the winemaking process. She celebrated her 35th harvest at Chateau St. Jean in 2014, and her attention to detail ensures that the signature of the vineyard is captured in every bottle.
Margo is a firm believer that great wines are grown - a conviction she shares with the Chateau founders who led the way for Chateau St. Jean to become a pioneer of vineyard designated wines in the early 1970s. To achieve Chateau St. Jean vineyard designation, the superior quality of the vineyards must be proven year after year and the grapes must consistently exhibit exceptional varietal character.
The art of blending is the cornerstone of Margo’s winemaking philosophy. To her, one of the greatest accomplishments is to create a wine style or signature blend that carries from vintage to vintage while still capturing the uniqueness of that particular growing year.
One of the things she enjoys most about her job is putting together the final blend for the Reserve wines. The Reserve wines represent the most concentrated, distinctive and balanced wines made at Chateau St. Jean.
Among California wineries, Chateau St. Jean is a pioneer in vineyard designation — making wine from, and naming it for, an outstanding single vineyard. Soon after its inception, the winery began producing individually labeled Chardonnays from the Robert Young and Belle Terre Vineyards and Fume Blanc from La Petite Etoile.
Sonoma County is a diverse growing region with a complex terrain of small valleys, benchlands and hillsides. A coastal appellation, it is favored with fog in the morning and sunny afternoons cooled by maritime breezes. From the cool Carneros area in the south to the more moderate Russian River and Alexander Valleys further north, a wide variety of grapes can enjoy the optimum climate to achieve rich varietal flavor.