Wine Spectator, Winespectator.com, 7/31/08
(XTANT Napa Valley 2004): 94
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. A rich, graceful and seductive style that exhibits layers of ripe plum and currant and jazzy, smoky, toasty oak, with hints of mocha that fan out on a palate. Ends with ripe, supple tannins and a long, elegant finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Drink now through 2015. 1050 cases made. -- J.L."
W inemaker Jeff Gaffner has spent over 20 years making quality wines, and his time spent with Chateau St. Jean's "Cinq Cepages" has much to do with his approach to winemaking. He is a firm believer in connecting with a vineyard and feels the most important thing a grower and winemaker can put in their vineyard is their shadow.
We select vineyard sites of the highest quality and within those sites, we select specific rows and spend time to evaluate the vines and fruit to best match our winemaking practices and maximize what we want from the wine. Knowing what journey the fruit took helps us decide what to do once it's at the winery.
By staying in touch with our vineyards, we have a better feel for when to pick. We never pick by the numbers; we pick based on vineyard and vine health and most importantly, by taste.
Our goal is to get the most out of the fruit without going too far.
We want a rich, concentrated elegant wine. We select the right vineyards and use the most delicate winemaking practices. We age our wines in tight-grained French Oak barrels for 30 months for a more elegant and rich extraction.
-- Jeff Gaffner