Wine of the Week – Jordan 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

It seems I am forever playing catchup on giving wineries the recognition they deserve on Simple Hedonisms. Certainly I do a lot more mentions in the social media realm of Twitter and Facebook, to my active following, but they are long overdue for a review.

About Jordan Winery: Showcasing Sonoma At It's Finest

Jordan is an extraordinary winery in many ways, and a rare breed in many as well.

Focus: Jordan only makes two wines, something incredibly rare for a winery of any size. An elegant Chardonnay, and a 'less masculine' Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tradition: Founded in 1972 by Tom Jordan, now run by son John Jordan, the winery has a well earned reputation for its elegance,

Photo courtesy of Jordan Website

world class wines,

and customer service. Its also one of the rapidly disappearing 'medium size wineries. Not a boutique winery making 5000 cases, and not a giant making 1 Million cases a year, but the difficult ~90,000 case range that has a unique set of challenges competing on either side.

Wineries in this size category continue to sell and merge, or in some cases over the years, dramatically downsize and spin off.  Jordan continues to adapt, innovate, and do well.

Innovation: Jordan is a winery to watch for their innovative marketing, writing, and award winning video blog. John Jordan has done a noteworthy job hiring and enabling Lisa Mattson, Executive Director of Communications.

Lisa blazes a trail for the rest of the industry to follow. (Why wineries don't recognize marketing staff on their 'people page'  still eludes me.)

Do read and follow: http://blog.jordanwinery.com/

Hospitality: I have witnessed the Jordan experience both as a consumer and wine industry/trade, and its always warm, impeccable, and high class, but lacking 'other valley' pretention – aka Sonoma at its finest. I am fortunate enough to receive media invitations several times a year to Jordan events, and even in a world where these eventually can become a bit tedious, am grateful for the invitation, and look forward to the experience. Jordan's kitchen, and Todd Knoll Executive Chef are amazing – you are in for a treat if ever here for a meal.

See: Jordan Winery Glampire Ball; Cool Halloween (And other Holiday) Cocktails

In Defense of Chardonnay

It's a bit ironic that as a person noted for his love of Rhone and off the beaten path varietals, that I have championed chardonnay. Why? I actually respect and like almost all wine varieties, and think we have sometimes lost our way, or forgotten how diverse wine can, or should be.  Few varietals express such a wide range of diversity as chardonnay – you need only be open mind, look around a bit, and taste more  - its worth the adventure.

There are Other Options

Yet, I had to drag people, including industry professionals, to my chardonnay tasting  this summer (at which Jordan poured.) At the tasting, by design, I featured non traditional California chardonnay – that classic bigger oak & buttery chardonnay made popular by Kendall Jackson, Rombeur and others. Without a doubt , this style appeals to the masses and dominates chardonnay sales. However, it represents only one possible style of many that chardonnay is capable of, and not only produced in Burgundy and Chablis, France, but by many small vintners here in California.

For more on Chardonnay, and how people CAN change their opinions see:

Seeing California Chardonnay in a New Light: #Chardonnay Day Greenhouse Tasting, Attendees Top Picks. 

Wine Review: Jordan 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay 

To The Eye: Clear pale to medium yellow.

On the Nose: Green apple, Meyer lemon, honeysuckle, pineapple

In The Mouth: – A delight. Great acidity, clean crisp mouthfeel with good weight mid palate. This chardonnay delivers as a stand alone, or paired with white meats and fish, salads, and cheeses.

Recommendation: Highly Recommend. Not your standard California 'cougar juice' (a term used to refer to Rombauer like oaky, buttery chardonnay) and also not as bright as an unoaked chardonnay – thus a more versatile wine overall. Buy and consume, (especially during Holiday season, pairs great with turkey.) Or cellar a few bottles as well, a well made chardonnay, with good acidity will age well.

92 Points, Outstanding.

Where to Buy: Jordan has distribution throught the country in wine shops and restaurants. You may also buy it online at http://store.jordanwinery.com/ . $29 retail. Media Sample.

Vinification Notes:    Chardonnay is a extremely diverse wine grape with huge variation in results based on winemaking tools. Learn to identify what's been done and what you like, to better appreciate this varietal.

Cold fermentation occurred in French oak barrels (with one quarter in stainless steel). After three months of sur-lie aging and batonnage, the wine underwent only 36% malolactic fermentation  to retain its bright acidity. With a portion resting in stainless steel, the remaining 72% of the wine was aged in 100% French oak (56% new) for 5.5 months

Wine Geek Info:

  • APPELLATION: Russian River Valley
  • BLEND: 100% Chardonnay
  • PH: 3.35
  • ALCOHOL LEVEL: 13.8%
  • BOTTLING DATES: July 19 – August 5, 2010
  • RELEASE DATE: May 1, 2011

2009 Jordan Chardonnay Video Tasting Notes

Great video! Look for the notes on  ”holding back on the oak” “more minerality” – which contribute to the success of the wine, in my opinion.

Related Articles

Jordan Winery Glampire Ball; Cool Halloween (And other Holiday) Cocktails

Seeing California Chardonnay in a New Light: #Chardonnay Day Greenhouse Tasting, Attendees Top Picks. Up Next – Aug 18 Pinot Day

 Chardonnay regains respect – now to maintain it (SF Chronicle – Jon Bonne')

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