J Vineyards & Winery

The Essence of Russian River Valley Terroir

J Vineyards and Winery produces highly-acclaimed sparkling wines as well as varietal wines in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. As the daughter of Tom Jordan, founder of Jordan Winery, Judy Jordan was raised amidst the hustle and bustle of an influential rising star in Sonoma County’s wine industry. Rather than join the family business, however, she struck out to pursue a passion for sparkling wine and to establish the Russian River Valley as a premier location for sparkling wine. 

 With a foggy cool climate as well as a wide range of complex volcanic and alluvial soils, the Russian River Valley has been attracting vintners of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay seeking the holy grail of a perfect Burgundian terroir. The qualities are similarly advantageous for sparkling wine producers though not for quite the same reasons. Unlike the maker of still wines, the sparkling wine producer is typically not interested in capturing the essence of a particular vintage or vineyard but in creating a delicious and consistent house style. Blending the base wines (that will then be bottled with some sugar and yeast for the secondary fermentation) is key to the art. In early spring, the finished Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier wines from different vineyards will be sitting in dozens of tanks. From these lots, the winemaker will painstakingly assemble the base wines, possibly adding in some reserve wines from earlier vintages for additional complexity. J Vineyards, with 10 estate vineyards spread out across the AVA, is assured of a great diversity from which to assemble great and complex base wines. The cool climate of the Russian River Valley also offers J Vineyards an advantage because they can begin the harvest a bit later than in warmer areas and still get the high acidity and low sugar necessary for high quality sparkling wine. 

While J Vineyards started out as a sparkling wine producer, it became clear over time that, with so many vineyards in prime Russian River Valley locations, the opportunities for making distinctive varietal wines were there for the taking. Today only about 35% of J Vineyards’ total production is devoted to sparkling wine with the rest divided between single vineyard and blended bottlings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. 

Wine Maker

Melissa Stackhouse

Country

USA

Region

California


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Wines from this Winery


2019 J Vineyards & Winery California Pinot Gris

If Italian Pinot Grigio is crisp, fresh, and vibrant while Alsace Pinot Gris is richer, spicier, and more viscous in texture, J Vineyards California Pinot Gris straddles the two. This delightfully approachable white offers layers of pear, peach and citrus flavors, mineral structure and a zesty finish. Sourced from vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg and the Russian River Valley, the wine is made entirely in stainless steel and without malolactic fermentation. So no cellaring is needed to enjoy the pure, refreshing flavors of this young wine. J Pinot Gris offers a great way to end an afternoon or start a meal. The acidity and bold flavors will pair well with Couscous salad, Thai green curry, chèvre cheese or sashimi.

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¥3,740 (incl. tax)
2018 J Vineyards & Winery Russian River Valley Chardonnay

J Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a classic from a region where classics abound. By sourcing fruit from vineyards around the valley, J Vineyards combines the region’s terroir of cool climate and diverse soils with decades of experience to produce a Chardonnay that is deep, lush and layered with flavor. 2018 was an excellent Russian River Valley vintage that winemakers extolled for its moderate temperatures and extended period of ripening. After a string of early vintages, grapes could be harvested at a more leisurely pace and at optimum ripeness. The 2018 RRV Chardonnay is delicious and complex. It enters lush and creamy but becomes crisp and lively as the acidity kicks in. Notes of orange blossom, baked apple, and lemon curd mingle with ginger, clove and hints of toast. The winery suggests pairing this wine with Madras curry with grilled shrimp or pork loin stuffed with apricots and almonds. But an unforgettable meal could also be had with some steamed crab, lemon/olive oil dipping and this fine Chardonnay.

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¥5,720 (incl. tax)
NV J Vineyards & Winery

J Vineyard’s signature sparkling wine is made for celebrations – whether a special occasion or just life itself. The classic grapes of Champagne are here: Chardonnay (49%), Pinot Noir (49%) and Pinot Meuniere (2%), sourced from a range of Russian River Valley vineyards that suffuse the wine with a spectrum of complex fruit flavors and mineral notes. Bubbles stream up into a golden mousse, giving the wine a creamy and elegant texture. Think fresh fruit served atop cinnamon toast and drizzled with wild honey and you get an idea of the flavors that await.

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¥6,600 (incl. tax)
NV J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rose

Even unopened, the sleek, clear glass bottle filled with luminous cool pink wine is a conversation piece – just the thing to get a party started. But in the glass is where this fruit-driven and full-flavored sparkling wine really shines. A blend of 64% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 2% Pinot Meunier, this Rosé has substantial body and concentrated red fruit flavors but plenty of acidity and a clean finish. Three years aging on the lees has given the wine a toasty, fresh-baked bread character that recalls Champagne. 

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¥7,370 (incl. tax)
2017 J Vineyards & Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

For an appellation wine, this one is a knockout, with a bright and aromatic nose and a deeply layered palate. But this appellation is the Russian River Valley, where diverse soils and a cool climate can’t help but produce classic Pinot Noir. The wine opens with aromas of ripe berries and floral and earthy notes and delivers a refreshing mouthful of gorgeous dark and red fruit flavors that feel deep and layered due to the acidity and fine tannins. J Vineyards is meticulous in managing vineyards, blending a range of Pinot Noir clones, and fermenting in open-top tanks in a gravity-fed facility. This seductive and rich Russian River Pinot would pair well with seared salmon, sausages, mushroom risotto, duck breast or roasted chicken.

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¥7,480 (incl. tax)