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A lush, hedonistic style of Cabernet, the 2005 Chateau St. Jean California Cabernet Sauvignon contains more than its fair share of sensory pleasure. Plenty of ripe blackberry and cassis fruit, a broad creamy mid palate, a touch of cedar, and a healthy dollop of new oak all come together seamlessly in this wine and add up to one good drinking California Cabernet. Remarkably consistent and utterly pleasing from year to year, the 2005 Chateau St. Jean California Cabernet Sauvignon is another unequivocal success from Margo Van Staaveren. We suggest consuming this youthful Cabernet upon release, when it is still in the throes of its youthful splendor. A clean glass and a few minutes of aeration are all that are required to enjoy this latest, crowd-pleasing treat from Margo Van Staaveren. Bravo!
The 2005 Chateau St. Jean California Cabernet Sauvignon comes as close as any young Cabernet can to "a sit around sipping kind of wine." This wine's plush body and smooth profile lend themselves to a party and offer, at long last, a crowd pleasing Cabernet that is both approachable and utterly appealing. However, like all of Margo Van Staaveren's wines, her California Cabernet exhibits considerable versatility as a superb accompaniment to a wide array of foods. Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and even a host of Mediterranean style dishes pair well with this blithe Cabernet. One of our favorite complements with Margo's California Cabernet is marinated sirloin steak, prepared for the fire with a brush with garlic and herbs, and seared to perfection on a very hot grill. Meatloaf, stews, casseroles, and even some lightly curried dishes shine in the company of this wine, too, so no need to hold back. The Queen would approve. Enjoy!
Chateau St. Jean or Château Margo as the winery's staff and the brand's staunchest adherents are fond of saying has been one of California's most heralded and consistent wineries over the last three decades. Not surprisingly, much of the winery's success lies in the fact that Margo Van Staaveren has been making wine at Chateau St. Jean for nearly three decades. Since graduating from UC Davis in 1979, Margo has never worked full time anywhere else. Like most California wineries, Chateau St. Jean has undergone several changes over the years in ownership as well as philosophy, but with Margo Van Staaveren always minding the vats, one bright, constant star has managed to guide Chateau St. Jean in the path of excellence.
When Margo first arrived at Chateau St. Jean, Dick Arrowood was the winery's chief winemaker. Now legendary, Arrowood later began his own winery, producing wines of unabashed excellence and critical acclaim. Margo concedes a great debt of gratitude to Arrowood, whom she considers a crucial mentor. However, when Arrowood moved on, Margo's husband, Don Van Staaveren took over as chief winemaker and he and Margo embarked on a new project that has since left an indelible stamp on the world of wine – Cinq Cepages, one of California's first great meritage wines. The 1996 Cinq Cepages was named Wine of the Year in 1999 by Wine Spectator but, perhaps, even more impressive is the fact that Chateau St. Jean had five of the six top rated wines on California's Top Hundred List that year.
Today, Chateau St. Jean is as renowned for its white wines as well as for its expertly crafted Cabernet Sauvignon and proprietary Cinq Cepages, thanks to Margo. Unequivocally, Margo Van Staaveren reigns over Chateau St. Jean, not only as the unofficial queen of Chardonnay, but also officially now as the winery's chief winemaker. Several years ago, Margo finally accepted the much-heralded position of head winemaker at Chateau St. Jean. In fact, "when we announced that she was taking over as winemaker, they (winery employees) had a cape for her and a crown," said Dan Leese, the winery's president and managing director. I guess we are not the only ones who recognize royalty when we see it. Long live the queen!
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