2020 J VINEYARDS & WINERY Chardonnay Russian River Valley

J VINEYARDS & WINERY Chardonnay Russian River Valley

¥7,370 (incl. tax)

In crafting this exquisite Chardonnay, J Vineyards draws upon the cool climate and diverse soils of the Russian River Valley. By sourcing grapes from multiple locales, J Vineyards can blend together lots with distinctive flavor and mineral profiles into a Chardonnay with excellent balance, structure, and complexity. A series of wildfires made 2020 a challenging - and frightening - vintage in Sonoma and Napa counties. Explaining the winery’s decision to harvest the fruit, winemaker Nicole Hitchcock said, "We harvested the Chardonnay earlier but did not change our winemaking approach. We have our own internal labs, so we were able to run our own analysis for smoke markers.” High scores from James Suckling (92), the Wine Advocate (92), and the Wine Spectator (90) appear to vindicate the decision to make wine under uncertain conditions. As a food pairing, the winery suggests Meyer lemon risotto topped with crispy confit chicken, or miso-glazed black cod over cold sesame soba noodles. For cheese, try a semi-firm sheep’s cheese.


Winery Description

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. 

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
Winery J Vineyards & Winery
Vintage 2020
Color White
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 9.0 x 29.5
Case Size 36.0 x 27.5 x 30.5
Alcohol 14.5%
Product Code JJ20RRC
UPC 724624118018

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

92 points – James Suckling; 92 points – the Wine Advocate; 90 points – Wine Spectator.

Bright flavorful notes of papaya and guava open up to a palate of baked apple, peaches, and creamy apricot. Crisp acidity and minerality balance the creamy texture and generous fruit. 



Whole clusters were pressed gently and fermented 100% in barrel. Different vineyards, blocks, and clones were kept separate and blended just before bottling. The wine aged nine months in 18% new French oak.

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