Posted by: Dallas Lawrence | March 4, 2010

Chateau St Jean 2007 California Cabernet Sauvignon – A Very Pleasant Surprise

Part of the challenge reviewing value reds today is that, frankly, most of the Cabernet’s are at best drinkable, but rarely enjoyable.

With this reality firmly in hand after quite a few value red reviews under our belt, it was with a bit of trepidation that my wife and I cracked open the 2007 “California” Chateau St Jean (not to be confused with their more expensive “Sonoma” bottling). It has been a long day and we were both craving a good cab for under $12. Neither of us were looking to muddle through a meager offering, and boy were we both pleasantly surprised.

Sourced from California’s North and Central Coast, this wine offered a very enjoyable lightly fruit forward medium bodied drink right out of the bottle. Blended tannins gave way to a light raspberry flavor that rounded out the first glass nicely.

As most wine fans know all too well, value cabs can be a bit tricky. Some over-do it on the tannins and blow your taste buds away with chalky cheapness. Others forget they are cabs and come off tasting like cheap zinfandels from the Central Valley. To their credit, the 2007 California Chateau St Jean threads the needle nicely, offering something for every Cabernet fan.

For my fellow big bold red fans, this wine has just enough dry mellow tannins to please the palate. And for those preferring something a bit on the lighter side, the fruit forward raspberry and ripe plum flavors won’t disappoint. One hallmark of a gown up cab is its shelf life – and this wine was still pretty darn good 24 hours later when we finished the bottle.

For around $10 a bottle (I have seen it everywhere from Safeway to Total Wine and from $10 to $16) this is truly one of the nicer value California Cabernets widely available on the market today. Be sure to chill the wine slightly and be careful to keep a close eye on the label for the “California” bottling versus the many different varieties available from this Napa Valley wine maker.

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