2010 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Robert Young Vineyard

Year: 2010
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 91
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.4%
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"Graceful and understated, with delicate, fragrant floral, white peach, honeydew melon and smoky oak notes, all beautifully proportioned, offering a long finish. Drink now through 2019. 8,554 cases made." (WS)

"A drop-dead gorgeous wine, the 2010 Chardonnay Robert Young Vineyard is wonderfully vivid and nuanced from start to finish. The Robert Young has a level of delineation that is impossible to miss, while retaining plenty of 2010 vintage steeliness. With time in the glass, the wine opens up beautifully, revealing multiple shades of nuance and complexity. The blocked-malo style works especially well here. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.

This range from Chateau St. Jean is packed with values. Many of these wines, especially at the entry-level, are made in large enough production to be relatively easy to find. Achieving high quality at this scale is a rare skill. Longtime winemaker Margo Van Staaveren certainly seems to have the magic touch." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The Vineyards:
The famous Robert Young Vineyard is located in the north central Alexander Valley. The Chardonnay plantings are in alluvial clay soils. Robert Young saw an opportunity to custom tailor a Chardonnay clone that was best suited for his vineyard site. Using the best selection from his original plantings of the Wente clone, Robert Young had his “Robert Young Clone” certified in 1989.

Several blocks of Chardonnay were harvested individually on different days. Each block and harvest day is always kept separate throughout the winemaking process. Classic winemaking techniques of barrel fermentation and sur lie aging in small French (100%) oak cooperage for 14 months was used. The barrels are tasted, and those of great fruit intensity and texture are selected by Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren to create this Chardonnay. In keeping with the 31-year history of this bottling, this wine is made in a non-malolactic style.

Winetasting Comments:
Fresh aromas of yellow fruit, citrus zest and hints of honeysuckle and smoke introduce the nose of this single vineyard Chardonnay. A medium-bodied entry fills the mouth with notes of pear, citrus, honey and nutmeg. Balanced acidity and lingering notes of Meyer lemon make this an excellent food wine.