2011 Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Jordan Vineyard and Winery
Author: Virginie Boone
May, 2011 Issue
Jordan Vineyard & Winery has been voted Best Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2011 NorthBay biz readers poll.
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
CEO John Jordan is excited to have Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon be recognized as NorthBay biz
’s readers choice for Best again this year.
“Our renewed commitment to winemaking quality is making its presence felt in the marketplace,” he says.
“Wine tastes are moving away from the Robert Parker model,” he continues. “People like the style of our wines. The pendulum has swung to wines of balance—our alcohol levels don’t go higher than 14 percent, let alone 15 percent—to wines that aren’t destructive at the table, and that make the chef look good, whether it’s the home chef or the restaurant chef.”
Jordan’s place on restaurant tables came into full focus with this year’s Wine & Spirits Annual Restaurant Poll, where Jordan’s Cabernet Sauvignon was named the most-ordered wine in 2010.
Jordan Cabernet has always been characterized by elegance and its ability to pair well with food—a co-mingling of soft, round tannins, pleasing acidity and dense blackberry fruit. The wines are built to stand out upon release but can also age gracefully another seven to 10 years (or more).
Jordan’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was made available in April at the winery and will be officially released to the wider marketplace this month, along with the Jordan 2009 Chardonnay. A great vintage throughout the North Coast, Jordan’s 2007 is 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 20 percent Merlot, 4 percent Petit Verdot and less than 1 percent Malbec, and carries the Alexander Valley appellation. The wine spent 12 months in 70 percent French oak, 30 percent American oak and has 13.8 percent alcohol.
Winemaker Rob Davis has been crafting Jordan wines for 35 years, working with founder Tom Jordan and now his son, John, to improve the quality and make wines that honor the greatness and elegance of Bordeaux. With John, in particular, Davis has been able to move away from an estate-only focus and become more open to finding the best grape sources, wherever they may be.
Davis, who trained for decades under legendary wine guru André Tchelistcheff (who was Jordan’s consulting winemaker in its early years), had been itching to source fruit from outside the estate. He saw it as a chance to up the quality.
“John told me, ‘Go get better fruit,’” Davis says. “He’s not just keeping things the same.”
Davis immediately went out and found new Cabernet sources in Alexander Valley to blend with his own estate hillside fruit. He also replanted Cabernet Franc vines (that weren’t adding much to the mix) to Petit Verdot, a small percentage of which is blended into the Cab.
Jordan believes it’s not only due to the improved quality of his wines, but to the fact that the winery is doing a better job of telling its story—through a range of social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and its own website’s video series—but also through its finely honed visitor experience.
“So many wineries place an emphasis on wine club sign-ups and tasting room sales,” Jordan says, before admitting they actually try not to sell when people come for a visit, instead focusing on the overall visitor experience by carefully selecting staff and training them to create a memory. “We’d rather have visitors go home and focus on the Jordan experience,” he says.
“We’d rather create brand ambassadors to be experts in their communities and help tell our story. We pay an incredible attention to detail.”
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