Today I am doing a quick review of a wine we had a couple of nights ago with good friends. We bought this bottle at the winery as a library wine, I would guess about 5 years ago. This was our only bottle, and this is the first time we have tasted this wine (they did not pour it at the winery when we purchased it). 400 cases was made.
Chateau St Jean 1996 Sonoma County Reserve Merlot has a dark ruby red/brick color in the glass. The nose displays surprisingly concentrated fruit with dark cherry, plum, slight notes of raisin, and soft vanilla. On the palate, plum, cherry, and dark raspberry with an earthy note. The tannins are moderate and silky, but still with an edge, in this medium to fullbodied wine.
My impression of this wine is close to what I had expected. With a little bit more fruit/berries then I thought would still remain (which is a good thing), this was certainly a very good, but not a great wine.
For the price you can find better wine but I would not rule this one out if you prefer older vintages. It can be found at Wine-Searcher.com for $100 at this point.
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