Jordan Vineyards and Winery has a forty-two year history in Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, California. Therefore, I was both honored and thrilled to be invited as a media guest to Jordan’s annual spring release party. It’s not often that I can say I felt sort of starstruck with a winery, but Jordan has a long and fascinating history, including their wines being served at notable White House events as well as the Academy Awards.
Before attending the party, I did a bit of research about Jordan. The first thing I stumbled upon was the Jordan Estate Rewards program, which is quite different from the traditional wine club approach to customer loyalty. I immediately enrolled so that I could see how it works. Members earn points with every purchase, and at varying levels starting at 4,500 points, can redeem their points for tours, tastings, events, luncheons, dinners, and overnight stays. I already felt like a part of the winery’s family.
Upon arrival to the property, my immediate response was gorgeous and impeccably maintained. I believe the main building is often referred to as the château, and with good reason, as it’s truly a gem of a building set on some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen. I almost felt like I had entered another era. There was even badminton on one of the front lawns.
With regard to the party itself, this year’s theme was Paris, so food choices included such delicacies as pâté, lamb chops, raw oysters, caviar, vichyssoise, duck sliders, smoked meats, rich French cheeses, and a variety of French breads. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.
The current releases, the 2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet and the 2012 Russian River Chardonnay, were served, along with a couple of library offerings, the 2006 Cabernet and 2007 Chardonnay. I tasted three of the four wines.
I had tasted a vintage of the Chardonnay previously, but this time, after more education and experience, felt like I was more equipped to offer an evaluation of the wine. I was impressed with the ageability of the 2007. It still possessed lively fruit after seven years. This is one of those wines I would say drink now, it’s at its moment to be enjoyed. The 2012 Chardonnay, which is aged in 100% French oak for 6.5 months (42% new oak) and sur-lie aged with some bâtonnage, is vibrant and fruit forward, with a creamy mouthfeel, ample acidity, and aromas and flavors of apples, pears, baking spices, and vanilla. The wine is both fined and filtered. I purchased a bottle of this wine to enjoy at a later date.
The 2010 Cabernet was equally impressive. It is aged 12 months in 74% French and 26% American oak barrels (39% new oak: 67% French, 33% American) and is aged in the bottle another 21 months. The wine composition is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec, which results in a very food-friendly wine that has aromas and flavors of dark berries and chocolate, with a nice balance of acidity and tannin. Decanting the wine prior to serving is recommended. Regretfully, I didn’t purchase this wine and now I am kicking myself. I will have to schedule a return visit soon and will take advantage of one of their varied tour options. To whet your visit appetite, please take a look at their most recent tour and tasting video:
Don’t forget to get fit for these most recent Chardonnay and Cabernet releases. Yes, the wonderful staff at Jordan have a wonderful sense of humor, too.
When you plan your trip to Sonoma County, please make sure Jordan is on your must-visit list and join their rewards program in advance so you can be part of the Jordan family upon arrival.