This November on VinePair, we’re celebrating everything about American Wine. From up-and-coming regions and our favorite bottles, to the challenges winemakers are facing right now, we’re turning a spotlight on the industry across the United States.
Since it was founded in 1972, Sonoma County’s Jordan Vineyard and Winery has kept things simple — producing just two wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay. The Cabernet is inspired by Bordeaux and the Chardonnay by Burgundy, and both adhere to the winery’s goal of creating wines of balance and moderate alcohol that are approachable when young but capable of years of aging.
That is exactly what you get with Jordan’s just-released 2019 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, and why this still family-owned winery has been a California leader for half a century. The wines are predictable in the best sense of the word — and very good.
While Jordan produces just two wines, what goes into them is another matter. The brand is all about the art of the blend, and its 2019 Chardonnay is from fruit sourced from 11 different vineyard blocks from five growers in the Russian River Valley.
The wine is a model of balance, showing notes of green apple and pear, lots of citrus, and refreshing acidity. There’s a mineral touch and some vanilla and butterscotch from five and a half months of aging in new American oak barrels. The wood component, while noticeable, is not overpowering and should become more of a background note as the wine ages, as it has in the 2018 Chardonnay — another lovely example of this wine. Alcohol is a moderate 13.7 percent.
On its website, Jordan offers older vintages of its wines, and it would be interesting to conduct a side-by-side tasting of its Chardonnays going back to 2011 — which, to its credit, are offered at the same price as the newest release.
As we head into the holidays, Jordan’s Chardonnay and its Cabernet Sauvignon would both be great additions to your Thanksgiving table and beyond — wines of elegance and restraint that are made for good food and good times.