As you travel along the northern Silverado Trail through St. Helena you will come to Chateau Boswell Winery. Chateau Boswell was founded and designed in 1979 by R. Thornton Boswell under the direction of one of the most influential winemakers in the Napa Valley, André Tchelistcheff. The elegantly designed stone building with unique turrets, resembling many chateaus in France, was constructed using hand-quarried stone from the Silverado Trail.
In 1997 Susan and R. Thornton Boswell expanded the estate vineyard to hillside organically grown plantings. Susan also designed their 11,000 square foot wine caves that are tucked behind the chateau and embedded 65 feet below the surface into the hillside. One of the unique features of these wine cases is the ability to view the volcanic geological history in the layers of soil and stone as they left many of the wall surfaces exposed.
In 2002 the family started a separate winery, Jacquelynn Wines, under direction of Josh and Jacquelynn Peeples. Visitors can take a tour of the wine caves and sample a number of Chateau Boswell and Jacquelynn Wines premium Sonoma Chardonnays and Napa Valley Cabernets.
While visiting I sampled the following wines:
The first pour was the 2010 Jacquelynn Cuvée Blanc - Sonoma County. This wine is a white Bordeaux blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Semillon aged in 35% New French Oak, Sur lies with bâtonnage. This wine is clear straw-yellow with slow forming tears. On the nose it has aromas of lemon curd, lemon zest and pistachios. On the palate it is rich and round with medium+ body, mouth-watering acidity with additional notes of dried pineapple on a very prolonged finish. The Semillon and the style in which this wine is made takes the sharp edges off the Sauvignon Blanc creating an almost California Chardonnay-like feel to the wine. This wine sells for $45 a bottle.
The second wine was the 2010 The Voyage Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The grapes are sourced from five vineyards in Sonoma - Dutton Ranch House Block, Morelli, Rued, Ritchie and Sebastopol. The wine is aged in 60% new French Oak, Sur lies with bâtonnage. This wine is clear and golden with pronounced aromas of lemon, tropical fruits, toasted coconut, marshmallow and popcorn. On the palate it is it rich and zesty with crisp medium+ acidity and full bodied and a lengthy finish. The wine is well balanced and a fine example of a California-style Chardonnay. This wine sells for $75 a bottle.
The third wine was the 2010 Dutton Ranch Rued Vineyard Chardonnay. This wine was aged in 25% New French Oak, Sur lies with bâtonnage. This wine is similar in profile to the The Voyage Russian River Valley Chardonnay, but not as pronounced on the nose. On the palate it is softer with stronger flavors of popcorn, marshmallows and additional notes of lemon pie filling on the finish. This wine sells for $85 a bottle.
The fourth pour was the 2010 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay The wine is aged in 75% new French Oak, Sur lies with bâtonnage. On the nose this has displays aromas of pears, apples, and barbequed pineapple skins. On the palate it is medium+ bodied, very creamy and it has a very long finish. This wine sells for $85 a bottle.
The fifth sample was the 2011 Chateau Boswell Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, is produced from their organically grown hillside vineyard fruit. This is a very young wine from a very challenging vintage. On the nose it displays aromas of green herbs, tart cherries, and raspberries. On the palate it is silky on entry with medium tannins and medium body with a medium length finish. This wine sells for $185 a bottle.
The final wine was the 2011 Jacquelynn Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. This wine delivers aromas of black currants, wild blackberries, tart cherries and a hint of dried herbs. On the palate it is silky, medium bodied with ample acidity and a prolonged finish with additional notes of cocoa dust and a hint of black pepper. This wine sells for $175 a bottle.
To see more pictures, check out Erik Wait’s Wine Country Photography at:
To visit or for more information:
3468 Silverado Trail
St Helena, CA 94574