Alexander Valley's Grand Cru

Jordan Vineyards and Winery has been producing fine Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the Alexander Valley for over 40 years. Proud of its role in helping to establish the reputation of Sonoma County wine, the winery also sees itself as carrying on winemaking traditions that have been practiced in France for centuries.

In the early 1970s, Tom Jordan dreamed of creating an American equivalent of a French Grand Cru. On orchard land in the Alexander Valley, he planted vineyards and built a chateau-inspired winery and tasting room. He hired a young winemaker named Rob Davis and enlisted the famed enologist Andre Tchelistscheff to consult on winemaking. Production focused exclusively on estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  While not an uncommon story these days, such ambition was rare in the 1970s, when Sonoma County grapes were used more in jug wines than by premium wineries. However, almost overnight Jordan set a new standard for Sonoma wine. Inspired by the wines of St. Julien in Bordeaux and Meursault in Burgundy, Jordan pursued “new” (for California) practices such as including the classic Bordeaux varietals of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec with the Cabernet. In the winery, Jordan followed an empirical approach toward barrel aging, continually testing new sources of oak, and aged the wines in bottle before release. With such attention to detail, the estate Cabs earned a reputation for complexity of aroma and bouquet and full-bodied elegance, for their balance between fruit, silky tannins and a lingering finish. Both the Cabernets and Chardonnays have always enjoyed high demand and have been perennial favorites of restaurants. 

Today the reputation of Jordan wines continues to grow as the winery improves upon its experience of the past 40 years. The current CEO, John Jordan, Tom’s son, has begun to incorporate some of the newer trends in vineyard management and winemaking. Much of the estate has been replanted, with the Cabernet vineyards relocated from the valley floor to the rolling hills and benchlands that offer better drainage and more varied soils. The new plantings also include greater clonal variation. Even so, Jordan no longer relies entirely on the estate vineyards but also purchases grapes from trusted growers to give the winemaker the best quality and broadest palate of flavors to draw on. Indeed, the Chardonnay is now sourced entirely from the Russian River Valley, which is much cooler and more advantageous for that grape. On the other hand, Jordan has remained opposed to one particular trend; that is, the trend toward higher levels of alcohol and heavier, more syrupy wines. After almost 40 years of making Jordan wines, Rob Davis continues to believe the mission is to achieve balance between fruit, acidity, tannin, and alcohol in order to ensure the wines have finesse, elegance and, importantly, continuity from vintage to vintage.

Wine Maker

Maggie Kruse





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Wines from this Winery

JORDAN Chardonnay Russian River Valley

Like a fine white Burgundy, Jordan Chardonnay stands out for its balance of crisp apple and citrus flavors, stony minerality, fresh acidity and a creamy texture. The wine begins its journey in the Russian River Valley’s diverse soils, cooling fogs, and nurturing sunshine, which produce superior Chardonnay fruit. Then, Jordan’s meticulous winemaking allows for that balance of complexity, freshness, flavor, and texture to emerge. For example, Jordan uses new French oak in both fermentation and aging - but not too much, nor for very long so that the oak nuances remain subtle. According to Jordan Winery, “Due to its crispness and citrus elements, the 2019 Jordan Chardonnay can be enjoyed as an aperitif and is also a versatile food pairing wine. Unlike many fuller-bodied Chardonnays, Jordan Chardonnay will not overpower salads or raw bar favorites, and it also creates a nice contrast of flavors with richer seafood, such as salmon or ahi tuna. The wine’s acidity and oak nuances can complement grilled chicken or roasted vegetable dishes and creamy pasta.”

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¥8,360 (incl. tax)
JORDAN Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

The Alexander Valley gets much more sun than other parts of Sonoma County, making it an excellent region for later-ripening Bordeaux varietals. On the other hand, the Alexander Valley is not quite as warm as the Napa Valley. Alexander Valley Cabs are noted for a bit more structure, less opulence, more acidity, and less ripeness than their Napa Valley cousins – and that’s exactly how we might characterize the Bordeaux-influenced and food-friendly Jordan Cabernets. Unusually it seems, 2018 was much more “normal” than some years before or since. Cool temperatures in late summer and fall made for extended “hangtime” and plenty of smaller, more flavorful berries. The blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec is rich and complex with aromas of black cherry, Mission fig, dark chocolate, clove, and nutmeg. The palate is filled with juicy blackberry and boysenberry flavors enveloped in silky tannins, with hints of vanilla bean and hazelnut. Enjoy now (decanting is recommended!) or give it a few years in the cellar. It should be great with slow-roasted garlic and rosemary-infused leg of lamb.

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¥13,200 (incl. tax)