We were very excited to get our hands on this wine as we've been trying to shake it from them for some years. The "them" in this case is none other than Chateau St. Jean, a winery that could easily be counted among California's elite royalty.
Their first winemaker in 1973 was Richard Arrowood, who would become arguably the first super star American-born wine maker in California. His wines were so highly exalted that he became as much a star as his accomplishments.
Richard's Chardonnays, Rieslings, Gewurztraminers and Fume Blancs were the paradigms that every other wine was compared to. There were lines out the door of people who wanted to work with him. One of those people was Margo Van Staaveren, who is now in her 38th harvest.
With all the buzz on their white wines, they switched gears and began making Cabernet Sauvignon. And? A few years later one magazine named it "Wine of the Year." Richard went on to form his own label, continuing to make great wine and Margo is now head winemaker.
With demand dwarfing supply, they had to create new brands with different sources. Magnolia Grove is one of them, but it was only sold to restaurants. A greater supply and a long history with them are why we are able to feature it.
It's classic St. Jean quality with dense, compact plum and fruit exciting the senses and igniting the palate from beginning to end. Prime rib or chateaubriand would be just the ticket.