And y’all thought I was going to forget to finish my trilogy on Jordan. Nope. We’re here to talk about the wine today.
Jordan doesn’t make a lot of different wines. They do a few things, very well. Of course, I love that. Their mainstays are the Cabernet Sauvignon and their Chardonnay. Occasionally they will make a dessert wine, but that’s only when everything aligns properly.
When we first arrived they were pouring their 2008 Chardonnay. This is not your big buttery oaky Chardonnay. This is a Russian River Chardonnay, clean, fresh with a nose full of green apples. It’s a chardonnay with crispness, bright fruit, and a minerally finish. The perfect wine on a gorgeous day.
After the initial reception they lead us into the dining room. The tables were set up with six wine glasses and a water glass. Nothing good could come of this. I was seated next to Alan Kropf, Editor in Chief of Mutineer Magazine. I didn’t know who he was, just a young guy full of exhuberance. Click the link, read this guy’s bio, he’s the real deal. And he’s a super fun dining companion. Each table had a steward from Jordan, mine was Brent Young, their Viticulturist. Brent is a great guy and has the über-geekiness that’s necessary to make for an interesting dinner conversation, if you’re a geek, which we all know I have my geeky streak. We had a great conversation about stressing the vines. He had experimented with a few vines at the estate to see how far they could push them. He knows that place now. Stressing the vines will create more vibrant fruit. The more interesting the fruit, the more interesting the wine. Stress them too much and it’s “thanks for playing our game this year”. Brent got there. I learned something. Life is good.
Our first course was accompanied by three of the Chardonnays. The 2005, 2007 and 2008. It’s thought that Chardonnay cannot be aged, but wine folks know that it can. Not that 2005 is that old. But the color darkens over time and the wine picks up viscosity and mouthfeel. The 2005 while similar to the 2008 had the pleasant addition of a little honey on the front palate and a little toastiness on the finish. It had become a little creamy over time and I think that’s a good thing. The 2007 was a crisper wine that had a hint of the creaminess as well. It was actually my favorite of the three. But by then we’d all seen the menu and I was itching to get to the Cabs.
They served their 1999, 2005 and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2006 was a little young, but it was a glass full of potential. Bright blackberries, dark cherries and decent balance made this a wine that I would like to lay down for at least five or six years, possibly longer. I would later find out that my answer was longer. The 2005 was starting to show the softening that I would be looking for in cellaring the 2006. Now the wine was starting to show some real nice structure, gentle tannins, beauty and grace that I love in a good Cab. But really, I was all about getting to that 1999. I expected this to be a very elegant old Cab. Wrong. Alan said it best. He gushed “This wine is like a street fight!” Now there’s a Somm that’s going to go far. The fruit was dark and luscious, the wine complex and balanced and seductive all at once. Dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla and that aged wine mouthfeel that really is like a street fight. I wasn’t expecting that from this wine, it was amazing.
After lunch, Brent took us for a walk in the vineyards. Brent brought along his vineyard helpers on our walk. He followed the burrow of something. He never got it, but it was interesting to see this little dog do what he’s bred for. I hope whatever it is sticks to the weed roots and leaves those beautiful vines alone.
I was interested in how different portions of the same block behaved differently. He was pointing to a natural depression in the land where he said that the water tended to run off in that direction. It gave that portion of the block more water than the rest of the block so the fruit grew and ripened differently.
They don’t pick all of the fruit in a single block at the same time. They go through with Rob Davis the winemaker and decide how much of the block to pick at a certain time. This attention to detail in the field makes all the difference in the world in the bottle.