by Fred McMillin
for May 5, 1997

A Little Star

Prologue: "Good as Sonoma Chardonnay is, Sauvignon Blanc may well be the county's finest white wine grape over the widest range of soil and climate...Of recognized Sauvignon Blanc sources, Chateau St. Jean's "La Petite Etoile" [little star] vineyard is among those carrying the flag highest...by Bob Thompson in "The Wine Atlas of California"

The Rest of the Story: This 44-acre "little star" twinkles very brightly. and its wine is anything but Sauvignon Bland...would you believe 15.1% alcohol? Furthermore, it wasn't simply fermented in stainless steel and soon bottled. Most of it was fermented and aged in small French oak barrels. So, if you want a white wine with all the active ingredients needed to pair with grilled salmon or pesto pasta, this is it.

1995 Fume Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc), La Petite Etoile Vineyard,
Russian River Valley
Chateau St. Jean Vineyards and Winery
Kenwood, Sonoma Valley, CA
Ph: (707)833-4134

Category: Highly Recommended if you like a white that will put a tiger in your tank

A Historical Footnote: When the chateau was purchased in 1973 for founding the winery, one of the most treasured items on the grounds was an apple tree given to the owning Goff family by someone you may have heard of...Luther Burbank.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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