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Why Jordan Winery is Closed to Visitors – Winter Pandemic Update

As the pandemic drags on, a worst-case scenario for hospitality businesses is starting to unfold in Sonoma County. With the onset of fall, temperatures are cooling, leaves are showing off their glorious colors and rain is coming. The change in weather signals the welcomed end to fire season, but it also brings the unwelcome closure of many small businesses that can only serve customers outdoors due to state and county mandates set to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

As of early November, Sonoma County was one of only nine Bay Area counties remaining in the “purple” tier for reopening–the state’s strictest guidelines. (The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an in-depth article explaining why agricultural-centric counties have the higher COVID-19 case numbers.) This means that the restaurants, wineries and food-serving bars, which draw tourists and day-trippers to Sonoma County wine country, have only been able to host guests for outdoor dining and/or sipping since the reopening of our economy in June. Most of us want to be outdoors in summer and fall, thanks to crisp air and sunny days, so pivoting to all outdoor wine tastings was a natural and easy shift. But wine tasting alfresco when it’s cold and rainy just doesn’t sound enjoyable, especially since it will require space heaters, plastic tents or other makeshift shelters. That isn’t the kind of wine country hospitality experience we want to provide at Jordan.

That is why we’ve made the difficult decision to close all of our Tours & Tastings and Jordan Estate Rewards member private experiences as of Monday, November 9. Sure, there might be some good weather before Thanksgiving and maybe even Christmas, but if we’ve learned anything from trying to run a hospitality business during the pandemic it is this: don’t plan too far ahead. We’ve spent so much time pivoting and canceling and rescheduling due to weather already this year that we have decided to focus our energy for the remaining weeks of the year on hosting complimentary Virtual Tastings for members and helping customers with Holiday Gift Guide orders.

Even though our private guest suites fully accommodate social distancing guidelines, they are unfortunately closed as well to our loyal customers. We are using this time of decreased visitation as an opportunity to undertake a six-month renovation of all three guest suites. We expect to begin accepting new reservations for overnight stays after April 1, 2021.

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we are staying optimistic and believing that COVID-19 restrictions will be loosened in a few months, and indoor dining and wine tasting will be allowed again in Sonoma County. When that happens, we will reopen and be ready to share our newly remodeled Library and Cellar Room to guests, following safety and social distancing guidelines. We will begin accepting reservations for winter tasting experiences once the county health officer announces changes in business operating restrictions. You can also email us to inquire about private group tastings, which will be available after January 4.

In the meantime, for those who want to go wine tasting in Sonoma County, there are wineries open for tastings outdoors, and several are working on their next pivot by having custom tents built, such as Lambert Bridge. Comstock also has several covered patios for shelter once the rains begin. Indoor wine tasting is currently allowed in Napa County as well.

Let’s hope that Sonoma County catches a break and can safely reopen indoor hospitality businesses soon. Our community needs it after three years of fires and a flood that significantly disrupted business throughout the region. We’re looking forward to bluer skies ahead.

 

2020 Grape Harvest Report – Some Good News from Sonoma County

There’s no way to sugarcoat the conditions that pushed the vines and vintners to the brink during the 2020 grape harvest season. Between the fires, the smoke and COVID-19 safety guidelines, stress levels were at all-time highs for winemakers throughout the West Coast. I have 15 harvests at Jordan under my belt, and it was absolutely the most challenging vintage of my career—a record held briefly by 2019, thanks to the Kincade Fire. But now that the wines are safely in barrel, I’ve been able to reflect on all that has happened to our community in the last two months and truly appreciate how lucky we are at Jordan. Although tragedy struck many farmers who lost their crops and a dozen Napa wineries that lost buildings, barrels and more, Jordan was able to weather this storm pretty much unscathed. Here’s a snapshot of how we were able to overcome the odds during the 2020 grape harvest season.

Skirting the August Lightning Fires

As discussed in my 2020 Jordan Chardonnay grape harvest blog post, the lightning fires that ignited across California in mid-August, fortunately, didn’t have an impact on our Russian River Valley grower vineyards. The Walbridge Fire, which burned in a remote, forested area west of Healdsburg, was starved of the wind that it needed to spread flames and smoke quickly. This meant that our chardonnay vineyards, which are primarily located farther south in the Russian River along River Road and Eastside Road, were far enough from the fire that smoke drift wasn’t a significant issue. There was, however, one casualty. Grower Relations Manager Dana Grande had found a new chardonnay vineyard farther north in the region along Westside Road, which we were planning to test out to see if it would work with our Burgundy-inspired style of chardonnay. (One grower cabernet sauvignon vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley also lost his crop to the smoke, but it only accounts for three percent of the final blend at Jordan, so we can do without those black cherry flavors and dusty tannins from his grapes this vintage—but it’s still sad.) None of those grapes made it to the crush pad due to their proximity to the Walbridge Fire. But for all other chardonnay vineyards, we ran the necessary laboratory and sensory tests on the grapes before, during and after harvest, and our 2020 Jordan Chardonnay smells and tastes great: beautiful apple and citrus aromas and flavors with bright acidity. Yields were down 20-30 percent for chardonnay, but that was more due to spring rains. I’ll take quality over quantity any year—especially a difficult one like 2020.

2020 Jordan Winemaking Team Cellar Crew Bacchus Courtyard

Teamwork has Thrived in the Pandemic

In a typical year, winemakers hire interns from other countries to come and work harvest. It’s an invaluable experience for these young apprentices and an essential, temporary workforce that we rely on every fall. COVID-19 canceled the intern programs just as it’s canceled almost everything else, so we had to get creative. We pride ourselves in having a positive work environment where employees from different departments help others in need. And winemaking and viticulture had lots of needs this year. The Sales department employees who weren’t hosting trade guests due to the pandemic pivoted to helping plant grapevines on the ranch during summer and then cross-trained on pumping the must or crushed grapes into the presses or tanks during harvest. Employees who work in maintenance learned how to operate the hopper while I received the grapes. We worked together as a really small team, which was also good for keeping the harvest crew safe from COVID-19. If anyone would have contracted the virus, the ripple effect at the crush pad would have been devastating. I was so worried that I might get sick and wouldn’t be able to work that I made sure to only interact with my family and production team. We take safety seriously at Jordan, and the winemaking team and cellar crew implemented so many new social distancing and safety measures for blending, bottling and harvest that I think it will take a long time for us to fall back into our old routines once the virus is gone and masks are off.

Practicing Patience in September

A Labor Day heatwave really stressed the Bordeaux variety grapes that still had weeks to ripen on the vine. Meanwhile, the Walbridge Fire continued to burn slow and long; it took weeks for it to be contained. Fortunately, the majority of our cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and malbec vineyards are located in Alexander Valley, northeast of the winery, which was even farther from the fire. We switched from cloth facemasks to the N95 versions to protect our lungs from ambient smoke. It was incredibly scary to be tasting freshly pressed grapes while my eyes were burning from the smoke. There was the temptation to “panic pick”—rush to get the fruit off the vine when bad weather has happened or is about to occur—but I fought the urge. Rob Davis—Jordan’s winemaker for 43 growing seasons, who retired last year—always taught me that cabernet sauvignon grapes are very hearty; their thicker skins make it harder for the smoke to penetrate. While we were waiting anxiously, the winery farm welcomed some new temporary residents: several horses who lost their home in the Walbridge Fire and are owned by a woman who went to school with John Jordan. Watching our donkeys and goats trying to adapt to their new roommates was a welcome reprieve throughout that hectic time. They were a symbol of survival, a source of inspiration, a beacon. They’re still living on our ranch today.

The Second Wave of Fires

We felt blessed to have dodged the first bullet of the 2020 grape harvest—the Walbridge Fire. But just when we started to catch our breath in late September, the Glass Fire broke out in neighboring Napa Valley during the peak of cabernet sauvignon harvest. We still had approximately 60 percent of our red grapes left to pick, and fresh smoke was heading right towards us. I felt numb; I didn’t think we could dodge the damage of smoke taint twice in one harvest. The past few fires have occurred at the end of the season when practically all of the Jordan grapes were off the vine, but 2020 couldn’t be that merciful. That’s not the way 2020 rolls. We had to dig deep and shift all of our focus to protecting the grapes. We had to get the fruit off the vine before too much smoke drifted from Napa Valley into Alexander Valley. We did quick tasting tests on the grapes in the unpicked vineyards, and sugars were at 25 brix. I wanted a touch more concentration in the grapes, which we achieve in typical years (like 2012-2016), but the dark fruit flavors, acids and sugars were there, so we just pulled the trigger and picked the remaining vineyards at an uber-fast pace. Only one grower vineyard, located in southeast Alexander Valley, was closer to the Glass Fire smoke, so we picked it a little earlier than we would have liked just to ensure no smoke taint. At the time, we didn’t have enough tank space at the winery to crush the fruit, so we got creative again. Dana and Ranch Manager Brent Young picked the fruit using the Jordan crew and tractors (the grower’s team wasn’t available quickly enough for us), and stored the gondolas of grapes—covered in dry ice—overnight in our new vineyard shop, where the doors could be closed air-tight to keep the grapes protected from smoke until we were ready to press them. I was also nervous about potential smoke damage in the last vineyard that we picked on October 4th but it is located the farthest northwest from the fire. The fruit smells and tastes like fresh plums and cherries. Cabernet sauvignon yields are down about 15-20 percent due to the heat spike over Labor Day.

Breathing Fresh Air and Sighs of Relief

As I look back at harvest 2020, it feels as if it was three different vintages in one. I could never have imagined that there would be so many obstacles to overcome. I am incredibly grateful to our amazing harvest team for their dedication to making this the best harvest possible under these conditions. I heard zero complaints when we had to double the amount of vineyard grape samples, do multiple rounds of micro-fermentations to ensure clean fruit, and take on all of those extra hours bringing in additional fruit to try and minimize smoke exposure.

I’m so happy with how the wines are tasting despite all of the drama of 2020 that I celebrated by adopting a rescue puppy.  We are going to produce a beautiful Jordan Chardonnay and an incredible Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Just as harvest was beginning, Rob was helpful in offering a little perspective. He said, “Remember that all of the 1855 classification top crus in Bordeaux survived two World Wars and lost all of their vineyards to phylloxera.” California’s Wine Country will get through 2020.

Beacons come in many forms. Traditionally, they were small fires lit to guide others. They are also lighthouses or radio transmitters to aid our eyes and ears. Beacons are also simply a source of light or inspiration—like the horses that survived Walbridge. After another year of record fires on top of a pandemic, we at Jordan feel so blessed to have weathered the relentless storm that is 2020 to shepherd another classic vintage into barrel. The wines made in 2020 will be unforgettable, just like its beacons.

 

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2020 Vintage Update: Sonoma Grape Harvest Begins at Jordan

Our 42nd harvest of Jordan Chardonnay grapes began in the wee hours on Wednesday, August 26. If you would have been standing at the hopper with me smelling the fresh fruit as it dropped from the gondolas just before sunrise, you would have never thought that one of winemakers’ worst nightmares seemed to be unfolding the week prior.

Jordan Chardonnay grapes in hopper at crush pad

The last nine days have felt like months with wildfires burning slowly to the west of Jordan Winery in remote parts of Sonoma County. With the 2019 Kincade Fire still fresh in our minds, it has been a very stressful time for our community, especially because the Sonoma grape harvest has barely started—and we still have at least two months of fire season ahead of us. And if you’ve been watching the news reports, you might be wondering if the 2020 vintage should be canceled in the year of COVID meets catastrophe, but don’t dismiss the 2020 wines. Here’s why the 2020 vintage still shows great promise.

Sonoma County wine country had a warm winter with no real frost threat and a mild spring with an even fruit set. The summer was quite warm but with only a couple of short heat spikes, so our Russian River Chardonnay vineyards look very healthy, balanced and have very little to no sunburn. The Chardonnay crop is light—down about 20% than an average year—and Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon crop is average in size but filled with really intense, dark fruit flavors. The vintage was on par to be a classic and still could be. The unusual lightning storm on August 16-17, which sparked the wildfires, has really been the only curve ball that Mother Nature has thrown us this growing season. The next round of lightning storms predicted last Sunday never transpired, and the upcoming forecast looks great—just like the grapes. We are all breathing a magnum-sized sigh of relief this week. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze, awe and inspire.

Jordan chardonnay grapes in gondola

We sampled our first Chardonnay grapes on Monday, August 24, at our grower vineyard on Eastside Road in the Russian River Valley, and I was excited about the intensity of fruit flavors, aromas and acids in the grapes. Fruit at our grower vineyards on River Road also looks and tastes promising. We were so happy when the samples were free of smoke taint. We are continuing to be optimistic as we sample more Chardonnay vineyards and taste not only smoke-free fruit, but delicious fruit flavors with intense acidity.

Although there have been no indications of smoke taint, there is some ash on the fruit in a few vineyards. Falling ash was essentially a two-day event associated with the fire, and based on Grower Relations Manager Dana Grande’s observations of each Jordan grower vineyard, only those vineyards south of the fire experienced ash, and the farther south the vineyards, the less chance of ash. There have also been reports of some ash in vineyards east of the fire, but in her observations of Alexander Valley, she has seen minimal ash at Jordan Estate, which is amid a seven-year replant of all grapevines, and no signs of ash where Jordan sources the majority of its Cabernet Sauvignon grapes—east of Geyserville. This ash challenge was an easy one for our resourceful growers to nip. Spray guns, filled with air instead of water, are being used to add the precise pressure needed to blow the ash off the fruit before it is hand-picked into bins and loaded into gondolas.

Chardonnay grapes hanging on the vine

After spending the last three days inspecting each vineyard in Russian River and Alexander valleys with Dana, I am very optimistic that we are going to come out of this nail-biter unscathed. Our growers have been working day and night to ensure that the best quality fruit is delivered to the winery is clean and pure. With our elegant house style of wine, there is nothing to hide behind. We can’t try to mask the fruit with more malo, higher alcohol or more tannin. The fruit speaks first in our wines, so the grapes have to be in great condition.

Jordan Winery employee on ATV taking chardonnay grape samples

Alexander Valley is located several miles east/northeast of the Walbridge Fire, so there is less concern about significant impact from the fires. It is too soon to make predictions about the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest, as grapes tasted this week were estimated to be around 22 Brix. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes need 3-4 weeks on the vine, but there’s plenty of good-looking fruit out there, and the crop is very well-balanced. But, out of an abundance of caution, because Jordan is known for its flagship Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 75% of the winery’s production, we are conducting several micro-ferment test experiments, based on typography and varietal, to see if there are any trace signs of smoke taint not detectable when tasting the grapes off the vine. A few pounds of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes from vineyards at different elevations, locations and micro-climates were picked and placed in individual vessels to ferment before sensory and laboratory analysis in a few days.

Cool, foggy mornings have returned this week, and the air quality is good from early evening to mid-morning in the Healdsburg area, which means it is a safe and desirable conditions for hand-picking Russian River Chardonnay at night. We have picks scheduled through the weekend, and expect to continue Chardonnay harvest through the next two weeks. It’s also important to point out that the fires were located in only three of the 18 wine regions in Sonoma County, so most farming activities have been able to continue as planned.

Maggie Kruse Jordan Winery holding grapes wearing mask

2020 is also special harvest for me–despite the stress that this year has brought to everyone, including working moms like me who are also juggling homeschooling. It’s my 15th harvest at Jordan and my first as head winemaker for the entire growing season. The first day of harvest was also the first day on the job for Matt Spence, who is following in his father’s footsteps in operations at Jordan. Tim Spence started on the Jordan bottling line in 1989 and worked his way up to Director of Facilities & Operations. Both of Tim’s sons now work alongside him. What a crazy year to commemorate special occasions—it’s certainly a vintage we all will never forget.

Stay tuned for regular 2020 Sonoma grape harvest updates on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’ll post another blog once Cabernet Sauvignon harvest is underway.

 

How One Restaurant Owner is Changing During the Pandemic

There are copious amounts of headlines in the news about how restaurants and many other businesses are struggling to adapt during this pandemic. As a wine list-focused brand, Jordan has been assisting restaurants where we are able to: highlighting restaurants open for take-out, social media posts…. and much more. In our latest email to our trade partners, we asked Shawn Virene for an inside look into how he adapted his restaurant during COVID-19. While we asked for a short description, his story is insightful and we decided to leave it uncut.

Welcome back!!!

First and foremost I hope that everyone reading this is doing ok, and I am sorry for all the hardship this pandemic has brought to us all.

I will start at the beginning from when we got news about the lockdown. I was having a glass of wine or two with a friend. Then the word came that all non-essential businesses would have to shut their doors. I was flooded with anxiety and mixed emotions. Where will this leave my restaurant and its 100 loyal employees? I didn’t know if I wanted to transform into a to-go business. I thought about laying it down and just waiting for the go-ahead to reopen. My wife convinced me otherwise and we immediately began to develop a plan. We came up with a travel-friendly small menu and got it out to market the next day. This whole experience has made me more conscious of how important a robust email database and social media base really is. I have been curating an email list over the past 20 years of all the people that I have met through the industry. This is one of the biggest reasons we were able to succeed through the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, we were forced to think outside the box in terms of product offerings. We found offering a package deal on wine and a family meal was a huge success. We also are offering 10% off of our already competitively priced wine list, if ordered alongside a meal. Enticing pictures of the daily specials helped to attract our customer’s attention–and allowed me to use my photography skills. The minute the email blast was sent out people would start calling in their orders. Although we could not service our guests in-house, it was great to see the community daily either via deliveries or curbside pickups.

Then we got the word that we could open up at 25% capacity and had very little time to prepare. We got our staff back to work as quickly as we could, training and cleaning the restaurant for two straight days. The question on my mind was will people come? Well, they did and we are so grateful for it. Additionally, as many wine vendors were offering incentives to purchase product, I was able to take advantage and re-stock our wine inventory that we depleted over the last two months. So now we are able to offer wine at an even better deal, which helps our guests who are watching their wallets. Many of our guests were thrilled to be able to come out into the community again and we are so happy to be able to serve them. As this is such a new environment for everyone, we are adapting and listening to what the customers are wanting. The to-go business is still strong and we are always coming up with new things for guests to participate in at home. We implemented an oyster shucking at your doorstep with a bottle of Champagne, and it is gangbusters. The best advice I can give is to be creative, get feedback, and push it out to your guests. You know the saying “If you build it, they will come”!!!

I am curious to see how the future plays out for the restaurant and wine business. Nothing is for certain except people are always going to need a great meal, wine, and companionship. Stay safe and thank you for your support.

Jordan Winery Reopens with More Hikes, More Picnics and a New Food & Wine Pairing Lunch

We finally have some good news to share: Jordan Vineyard & Winery will officially reopen for seated food and wine pairing experiences on Thursday, June 11. Last week, a new Sonoma County Health Order was issued, allowing wineries that serve food to begin welcoming guests again–but only if experiences can be hosted outdoors. The Jordan kitchen is gearing up now, and we will resume Vineyard Hikes and Chateau Block Vineyard Tastings on June 11, but we will now offer these Healdsburg winery experiences 4-5 days per week. A new Paris on the Terrace restaurant-style dining experience debuts on June 18 with two seatings five days a week, and seven Picnic Lunches and three outdoor dinners will be offered this summer. Reservations for daily experiences and Picnic Lunches open for booking June 1 at jordanwinery.com/visit or directly via Cellarpass. Tickets for themed dinners go on sale July 1 at 9 a.m. at jordanwinery.com/shop.

With a full-time culinary staff and many outdoor entertaining spaces, Jordan Winery, located just outside of Healdsburg in Alexander Valley, has been preparing to modify existing experiences since the COVID-19 shelter in place order began in California on March 17. The iconic Jordan Chateau is surrounded by terraces and lawns, shaded by oak, magnolia and sycamore trees, offering a picturesque setting with ample physical distancing. our winery terrace is being transformed into a Parisian brasserie with traditional bistro table seating. Beyond the golden chateau, nearly 1,200 acres of preserved open space, vineyards, olive orchards and lakes await hikers. Modifications to seating, food pairing presentation, guest arrivals, restrooms and other procedures have been made in compliance with COVID-19 safety and physical distancing guidelines.

We’ve used our closure time to reinvest in Jordan’s culinary hospitality program and facilities. Indoor communal tasting spaces, the Library and the Cellar Room, are closed for renovation. The Bacchus Courtyard has been redesigned, and landscape design projects are near completion at the Chateau Block Vineyard Tasting area. The garden surrounding Jordan’s recently remodeled guest house has also been refreshed, and the winery’s three guest suites will be renovated this winter.

Jordan’s Library Tasting and Winery Tour & Tasting are closed through September 7, and the Estate Tour & Tasting is being offered exclusively to private groups of eight people maximum from June through October. Guests should email reservations@jordanwinery.com to inquire about pricing and availability. Curbside pickup service will continue by appointment via Cellarpass.

Here’s a look at all Jordan Winery food & wine pairing experiences available this summer.

Jordan Winery Food & Wine Pairing Experiences – Healdsburg, CA

Guests walking along a path surrounded by vineyards on a Spring Vineyard Hike at Jordan Winery.

Nature Hikes

May 23-June 7, 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. $110 per person **

This by-appointment-only hiking adventure for two people is only offered on select days to a limited number of guests to ensure the proper level of social distancing. The guided journey starts in the courtyard of the Winery Chateau before starting the four-mile hike, which begins and ends at the winery and traverses hills and valleys with an elevation change of about 300 feet. The hiking adventure culminates on the winery terrace, where guests receive a picnic lunch and two bottles of wine to go, allowing them to continue the Jordan experience at home. (Replaced by Vineyard Hikes after June 7). Find more information and make a reservation on our website. **All Nature Hikes are sold out except Friday, May 29, and Friday, June 5.

Guests posing for a photo during a Spring Vineyard Hike at Jordan Winery.

Vineyard Hikes

June 11-September 6, 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. $110 per person

This guided excursion begins in the Winery Chateau’s Bacchus Courtyard with protein snacks before starting the four-mile hike, which begins and ends at the winery and traverses hills and valleys with an elevation change of about 300 feet. Then descend into the olive orchards and make your way around the lake and cattle pasture to reach the chef’s garden and apiary. The three-hour experience culminates on the winery terrace for a charcuterie picnic with wine pairings at individual tables, featuring Jordan Chardonnay, Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, special selections by Journeyman Meat Co. and more. This outdoor adventure will be hosted Thursday through Sunday from June 11 through September 6 with a maximum of 10 people per hike to maintain proper social distancing. Find more information and make a reservation on our website.

hand pouring Jordan Winery Cabernet in wine glass with journeyman charcuterie during a Chateau Block tasting experience at Jordan Winery

Chateau Block Vineyard Tasting

June 11-October 31, 10:30 a.m. $75 per person

In 2018, Jordan Winery planted 9,352 cabernet sauvignon grapevines across from its chateau for the first time in its history. Now, guests can enjoy this vineyard up-close with a glass in hand as part of Jordan’s Chateau Block Vineyard Tasting experience. This guided 90-minute tasting includes Jordan Chardonnay and three vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon paired with house-marinated olives, nuts and charcuterie from Journeyman Meat Co., presented on individual boards for each party. This seasonal wine and food pairing will be hosted Thursday through Monday from June 11 through October 31 with limited seating at individual tables to ensure proper social distancing. Find more information and make a reservation on our website.

Jordan winery chateau terrace in Healdsburg

Paris on the Terrace

June 18-September 7, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $110 per person

Travel to France without leaving California with a new outdoor food and wine pairing experience at Jordan. Under the shade of oak trees, guests relax at individual bistro tables on the terrace with the Jordan Winery Chateau as a backdrop. Jordan’s executive chef has created a Parisian brasserie-inspired menu with a California twist, including a crudité from Jordan’s garden, house-marinated olives, cornichons, homemade spiced nuts, a Jordan Garden salad, a charcuterie platter, and an artisanal cheese plate with Jordan Estate Honey and mostarda. Wine pairings include the Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble, 2018 Jordan Chardonnay, 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and a special library vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the 2019 Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This French bistro-style lunch experience will be hosted two times per day, Thursday through Monday, with limited seating at individual tables to ensure proper social distancing. Find more information and make a reservation on our website.

couple having picnic at Jordan Winery in Healdsburg

Picnic Lunches

June 26 & 27; July 18, 24 & 25; August 29 & 30; 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. $95 per person

A picnic experience where all of the details are handled for visitors. Guests are welcomed with the Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble and a picnic basket filled with a selection of Journeyman Meat Co. salumi and artisanal cheeses, before selecting a secluded spot on Jordan’s sweeping lawns. The butler’s party is stocked with an array of homemade provisions for guests to choose from, such as pork rillettes, salmon rillettes, jarred vegetable salads, citrus-marinated olives and desserts. Each party of two receives a bottle of chilled Jordan Chardonnay, and tastes of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon are also offered in a shady alcove. Picnic blankets will be spaced more than six feet apart with several shaded areas available. Staggered arrival times of six guests per time slot will also ensure ample space between parties. Find more information and make a reservation on our website.

Even though our formal dinners in the dining room have been postponed, there are still opportunities to enjoy a restaurant-style dinner at Jordan Winery in Healdsburg this summer. In July, we’ll host a new Paris on the Terrace Pizza Night on Friday, July 17, and Friday, July 31, with each party seated at bistro tables surrounding Jordan’s Mugnaini wood-fired oven. Our annual Bounty of Sonoma County dinner will be hosted on August 15 with changes to seating for social distancing, including individual tables for each party/household. Tickets for summer dinners go on sale July 1. Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to receive announcements about tickets.

All guest experiences will be hosted in compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, the Sonoma County Orders of the Health Officer and the Sonoma County Health Department. Learn more about Jordan Winery’s safety procedures and protocols.

Jordan Winery COVID-19 Safety Statement – How We’re Keeping Guests & Employees Safe

Thank you for supporting local small businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a winery centered around hospitality, our highest priority is ensuring that our guests feel safe and enjoy a relaxing time on our estate. We are open by appointment only for an array of outdoor experiences, including Vineyard Hikes, Chateau Block Vineyard Tastings, Picnic Lunches, themed dinners and the new Paris on the Terrace lunch. Overnight stays in our winery suites resume July 1. We continue to do everything we can to keep our customers, employees, and community safe and healthy.

COVID 19 Business Safety Commitment Graphic

Social Distancing and Face Covering Guidelines

Using guidelines from the Sonoma County health orders, we’ve developed the above graphic about our commitment to safety and to warm hospitality. We ask all winery guests to join us in a commitment to safety and to kindness, as we navigate this new world of hospitality together. Please promise to do the following:

  • If you are sick or begin showing any symptoms of illness, please help us ensure the safety of all guests by allowing us to reschedule your visit, or issue you a full refund. Guests who exhibit any symptoms of Coronavirus will be asked to return home and issued a full refund. 
  • Cancel or reschedule your reservation if you have been in contact with someone recently who has tested positive for Coronavirus or is suspected of having Coronavirus.
  • Carry a face covering at all times. Coverings must be worn outdoors when you cannot stay six feet from others, and coverings should be worn indoors at all times for any guests who enter our lobby to purchase wine. All overnight stay guests who use Jordan’s complimentary transportation to and from town must wear face masks inside the vehicle at all times. If someone forgets a face mask, one will be provided, but refusal to wear facial coverings in these situations will result in guests not being allowed to enter the property or to enter the company vehicle. 
  • Maintain a minimum six-foot distance from others who are not part of your household.
  • Use hand sanitizer as often as necessary (hand sanitizer stations will be located at entrance, experience, restrooms and exit).
  • Bring your own refillable water bottle for Vineyard Hikes.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, sanitize your hands afterwards and pack out your tissue to dispose at home.
  • Have fun and be kind.

As our promise to you, here are the employee procedures in place to keep our guests and our staff safe:

  • Health & Safety.  All employees have completed a COVID-19 health and safety training to ensure procedures are followed. Employees must conduct a health check each morning before coming to work and follow the Center for Disease Control’s general guidelines for washing hands regularly and using hand sanitizers, maintaining social distances, wearing face coverings when around others and inside the winery and coughing/sneezing into an elbow or tissue. Jordan has always had a policy about ill employees not coming to work. No employee is allowed to come to work if they are starting to feel sick or show any symptoms of sickness. 
  • Sanitation Guidelines. Our Culinary and Housekeeping departments have been long-recognized by the Sonoma County Health Department for their high standards of sanitation in food service and hospitality.  Rigorous cleaning procedures have been implemented for before, during and after guest experiences. Designated guest restrooms are cleaned every hour by our staff. Additional hand sanitizer stations have also been placed throughout the winery, as well as at entrances, exits and guest experience locations.
  • Face Coverings. In accordance with Sonoma County health orders, face masks/coverings are required by anyone entering the winery or those who cannot maintain six feet of distance from others. We have also provided our staff with face masks and require that they use them for their protection and the protection of colleagues and guests. Guests are required to bring and wear their own masks. Disposable masks will be available to those who forget to bring their masks.
  • Social Distancing. Guest experiences have been modified to allow for hosts to maintain the proper physical distance whenever possible. Other employees have been trained and instructed to maintain social distancing, and our break rooms and offices have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing of other employees who do not interact with guests.
  • Food Service. The Jordan culinary staff follows the safety and sanitation guidelines of the Sonoma County Health Department, as always. All staff are ServSafe Food Protection Certified. In addition to the above, our culinary staff has implemented additional procedures for handling, serving and storing food, as well as sanitizing tools and surfaces.

We will continue to do all that we can to ensure the safety of our guests and our employees. To review a comprehensive list of every safety measure being taken to protect everyone, request a copy of Jordan Winery’s Reopening Guidelines & Procedures.

4 Factors That Made 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon a Stellar Vintage

After releasing a special vintage like the 2015—the first Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon aged entirely in French oak—Jordan fans could think that the following vintage would live in the shadow of such a historic wine. But that is absolutely not the case. We’re actually even more excited for this month’s release of the 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon—a vintage that combines the silky texture born from aging the wine exclusively in French oak with deeply concentrated fruit flavors from pristine grapes born from an exceptional growing season. It’s also the 40th anniversary vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, so definitely a special vintage to buy for reasons beyond its quality. Here are the four factors that helps make 2016 a stellar vintage for Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon in Sonoma, Napa and other Northern California winegrowing regions. The 2016 vintage cabernets are enjoyable to drink now but will cellar for decades to come. 2016 is so good, it made our all-time best years for Jordan Hall of Fame.

Alexander Valley vineyards vista
The view from a prized hilltop vineyard for Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Enjoyed Nice Weather

Mother Nature was very good to us right out of the gate and delivered a truly superb vintage. After years of drought, we received more than 80 percent of the year’s average annual rainfall before winter ended. This kicked off the 2016 vintage growing season on a promising note, because every great vintage begins with ample water in the ground before bud break. After weeks of intermittent rain storms in December and January, a record heat wave hit in mid-February, which triggered yet another early bud break. (The early bud break required us to slightly alter our farming practices in order to avoid frost damage. This meant mowing our cover crops earlier than normal to ensure that the cold air wouldn’t be trapped within the rows of actively growing vines.)

Flowering began in early May, which is typical timing, and despite some rainy days and a little wind, the flowers pollinated successfully in our earlier-ripening vineyards. A curve ball came our way from mid-May through Memorial Day weekend, in the form of a few rain showers punctuated by two heat spikes. This disrupted the bloom of some later-ripening vineyards, which reduced the quantity—but not the quality—of the grape clusters. The good news is that many of the Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon grower vineyards had already bloomed 75-100 percent before the inclement weather arrived.

Moderately warm weather carried the grapes to ideal ripeness from summer into early fall.

2014 Jordan Cabernet merlot grapes on the vineThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Grapevines Grew in Balance Throughout the Growing Season

Over my 15 years as a winemaker, I’ve always followed the principle that you need balanced vines to make balanced wines, and 2016 is one of those ideal vintages where the grapevines grew in harmony from spring and summer to fall. The pursuit of vine balance begins at the end of winter when grapevines awaken from dormancy and burst their tiny buds. If the buds break uniformly—i.e. in balance—they will, in theory, go through flowering evenly (as long as there isn’t rain and wind during bloom), resulting in balanced, tiny berries. During summer months, fruit set and veraison, the color change of the red grapes, will also happen evenly in balance as long as no strange weather events, such as heat spikes or rain storms, occur. Thanks to the good weather during these important times during the lifecycle of the grapevines, 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were so evenly ripened that they possessed more fresh, dark fruit character than the 2015.

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Endured No Intense Heat

Intense heat (temperatures in the mid-90s to 100) can cause the vines to shut down and not ripen their fruit. Fortunately, the 2016 vintage had ideal summer weather with no heat spikes whatsoever. Cool temperatures and misty fog lingered well into late morning most days throughout August, and highs stayed in the upper 70s and low 80s—about 10 degrees below average. There was just enough sunshine, but without intense heat, which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly, developing complex flavors.

picking grapes during harvest Alexander Valley
The Munselle Vineyards picking crew harvests hillside cabernet sauvignon grapes for Jordan on October 11, 2018.

2016 is a Historic Vintage for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

The harvest for Jordan’s 2016 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon began on September 8 and concluded on October 7—the eve of our official 40th anniversary of the inaugural 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Even though 2016 was an average-sized crop, it has flavor and complexity on par with the exceptional 2012 vintage. Right off the vine, the fruit aromas were bright, beautiful and rich, and the grapes showed great intensity of fruit flavors. It is a fitting vintage to celebrate 40 years of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

jordan winery 2016 cabernet sauvignon bottle with wine glass

Learn more about the 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

4 Things that Made the 2018 Chardonnay Vintage a Great Year

Nature often rewards grape growers and winemakers with an excellent vintage the year after an extremely challenging one, and we’re thrilled to report that this was the case with the 2018 chardonnay vintage. On the heels of the difficult 2017 vintage, 2018 reminded us of the 2012 vintage—one of the finest we’ve seen in more than 40 years of winemaking. To celebrate the release of the 2018 Jordan Chardonnay, we’re sharing the four things that made the 2018 chardonnay vintage such a great year for the queen of wine grapes.

The 2018 Chardonnay Vintage Enjoyed Normal Weather

After years of drought, hot summers and early harvests, 2018 returned to what we call the “old normal.” Timing for the entire growing season was three to four weeks later than in recent years and reminded us of classic vintages from the 1990s, when winter temperatures remained cool and brought just enough rainfall. Bud break occurred at a more typical time in late March, and very little rain or wind during the May flowering period resulted in a generous but not excessive cluster count. When fruit set occurred in June, the crop size looked average, but as summer progressed, the clusters filled out beautifully, with much heavier clusters than usual.

bialla vineyards sign, jordan chardonnay grapes

The 2018 Chardonnay Vintage Endured No Heat Spikes or Rain

The summer of 2018 had glorious weather, including a return of the late-summer cooling trend more common before the drought years of 2012-2014. August brought its welcomed foggy, cool mornings but without the late-summer heat spikes we witnessed in 2010 and 2017. The only real weather concerns were a single heat spike in June during fruit set, and a little rain in late September. Fortunately, all of Jordan’s Chardonnay grapes were picked before the rain, and the weather was glorious throughout October with cool, foggy mornings and sunny days.

Vines beginning to bud

The 2018 Chardonnay Vintage Combined Quality and Quantity

Due to the similarities between 2012 and 2018, we were able to use the 2012 vintage cluster weights to assess the crop level for the 2018 vintage. We’re never sure how many tons of grapes per acre a vineyard block will produce, and while experience helps, growers and winemakers are more often wrong than right when it comes to crop estimates. The 2018 vintage was no exception; rather than producing an average yield as we’d initially expected, cluster sizes in many blocks came in at a record high—just like the 2012 vintage.

2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay grapes on the vine.

Chardonnay Grapes Enjoyed Extended Hang Time

After the long, cool mornings of August, September enjoyed moderately warm afternoons that ripened the grapes slowly, so we delayed all chardonnay picking to give the grapes more hang time. With no threat of rain in the forecast in early or mid-September, we had the luxury of letting the grapes reach full maturity through extended hang time, concentrating their varietal aromas, mid-palate character and depth of fruit flavor. Picking began September 18 and continued until October 14, which allowed the small berries to develop bright, apple flavors. These were some of the most delicious chardonnay grapes our Russian River vineyards have ever produced, bursting with bright intensity.

jordan russian river chardonnay bottle with wine glass

Learn more about the 2018 Jordan Chardonnay.

How to Use a Durand Wine Opener: Tips for Opening Old Wines

With a cellar of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon dating back to 1976, we have the pleasure of opening up old wines from time to time. Using the ah so–a two-prong cork puller–was our preferred device for uncorking old cabernets for decades until the invention of the Durand wine opener in 2007. In this video, our winemakers demonstrate how to use a Durand to open a 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon–our inaugural vintage. The Durand is basically an ah so cork puller and a traditional waiter’s corkscrew combined.

Created by a wine collector from Atlanta, the Durand wine opener is an invaluable tool for uncorking wines more than 20 years old. Natural wine corks begin to lose their firmness after 20 years, so when you open an old bottle of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon with a regular corkscrew, the cork may break in half or crumble during extraction. This doesn’t harm the wine, but it’s messy. You may want to decant the wine in order to separate it from the cork pieces that fell into the bottle. The Durand wine opener is very easy to use and the best tool for avoiding the perils of extracting an old cork from a wine bottle.

How to Use a Durand Wine Opener

  1. Separate the two pieces of the Durand. Set the two-prong ah so piece aside.
  2. Take the corkscrew piece of the Durand and insert into the wine cork in the same fashion as a typical corkscrew.
  3. Twist the corkscrew straight down and continue until the entire corkscrew is inside the cork, and the metal handle reaches the lip of the bottle.
  4. Insert the ah so perpendicular to the corkscrew’s metal handle, and then shimmy the two prongs in between the cork and the bottle neck. The handle on the corkscrew and the ah so will form an X.
  5. Twist both pieces together clockwise or counter-clockwise while pulling slowly up.
  6. Pour your old wine and enjoy.

You can see the Durand and the ah so cork puller in action in our Jordan Uncorked video series.

Release Day Virtual Wine Tasting for Jordan New Vintages

Jordan Release Day winery events were among the thousands of spring parties canceled across the globe, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to let such a historic occasion pass without some sort of celebration. The release of our 40th anniversary vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon only comes around once in a lifetime, so we are embracing the times–and taking the wine tasting online with a virtual chat with our winemaker on Release Day: Friday, May 1. We are releasing three wines two weeks early with a special shipping offer, giving everyone the opportunity to have these new vintages in their glasses for the tasting. All virtual wine tasting details are below. And if you’d like to chat with us before then, we’re hosting a virtual tour with five hosts at different locations across the estate on Thursday, April 23.

Release Day Virtual Wine Tasting

Friday, May 1, 2020

3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m. EST

Featured Wines:

2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum

2018 Jordan Chardonnay

Order by Monday, April 27, to receive your wines before May 1. Visit our wine shop here.

 

Jordan Winery staff on virtual zoom video call

Like you, we’re all anxious to put this pandemic behind us, and some days, we don’t feel like clinking glasses at the dinner table. But wine is one of life’s greatest conversation starters–it’s a symbol of good times with the ones we love. And we want to celebrate this special moment with all of you in quarantine-life style.

Sonoma Family Meal Launches New Disaster Relief Fund

The demand for prepared meals is at an all-time high due to the Coronavirus pandemic. That’s why Sonoma Family Meal, a disaster-focused non-profit created two years ago to feed wildfire victims in Sonoma County, launched a Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund last week—a new initiative to pay local restaurants to provide healthy, chef-made meals to those in desperate need of food right now. John Jordan and the John Jordan Foundation made a $150,000 investment in the fund to help get the program off the ground. You can support this cause with the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund Match Drive. The goal is to raise $300,000.

There are many chef-backed Coronavirus charities that are worthy causes—some chefs are feeding laid-off restaurant workers and others are setting up donation funds for their own employees–but John Jordan was particularly moved by this project after receiving an email from Heather Irwin, the founder of Sonoma Family Meal. The idea of a charity paying restaurants to cook is very new and smart–three of these coronavirus charities providing financial income have emerged in the last week in Northern California. John wanted to do something significant to support a program that helps the restaurant community, farmers, the economy and families in need—at the same time. His $150,000 investment is not contingent on reaching the match drive goal and is in addition to all of the existing John Jordan Foundation charitable programs in place.

Here’s what Sonoma Family Meal will be able to do if they reach their goal of $300,000 to fully fund this program:

  • Pay at least 20 restaurants and caterers to stay open as disaster relief kitchens
  • Put at least 100 Sonoma County restaurant workers back on payroll
  • Provide 100,000 meals for thousands of seniors and families facing food scarcity
  • Sustain this operation for four months

The $150,000 investment from John and his foundation will allow SFM to keep the doors open at least 12 struggling restaurants and caterers throughout the county currently providing meals, purchase 42,000 to-go containers (compostable or reusable) and provide 65,000 meals.

According to Heather, the idea for the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund was born from the work with chef Kyle Connaughton of SingleThread Farms in Healdsburg, the Michelin-starred restaurant that piloted the Sonoma Family Meal program in mid-March and has been cooking 200 meals a day since then, each meant to feed four people. SingleThread began raising money from investors, wineries, and restaurant guests to fund their production of donation meals for Sonoma Family Meal. SingleThread and two other Healdsburg restaurants—Mateo’s Cocina Latina and PizZando—are continuing to cook meals for Sonoma Family Meal and are raising money through their own network of donors to fund their operations. Guests who order takeout from SingleThread through Tock also have the option to donate meals to their Sonoma Family Meal program.

Sonoma County has been through a lot as a community the past several years (from fires to floods), and now the entire world is struggling with this invisible enemy. We invite you to donate whatever you can to this cause and share with your friends who have enjoyed meals at  Sonoma County restaurants. We’re in this together.

Learn more about donating to the fund.

Wine Vintage Chart: A When to Drink Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Aging Guide

It’s been a rough year but now more than ever, we are grateful for great wine, delicious food and staying connected with our family, friends and colleagues online. As we approach the end of this crazy year, we can all attest that we’ll need to dig even deeper into our wine cellars to bid 2020 a swift adieu. Thank you all for choosing us as the no.1 Cabernet Sauvignon and no.1 Wine Brand in American Restaurants this year. We look forward to sharing a glass with you in person but until then, we hope you enjoy our curated wine vintage chart for cabernet sauvignon to help guide you through your cellars.

How long should cabernet sauvignon be aged before you reach for that corkscrew? It’s the question we’re asked most by winery guests and friends on social media, which inspired us to create a new kind of wine vintage chart for cabernet sauvignon. This wine aging chart gives wine lovers an idea of how each vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon may taste and when to enjoy it. In addition to the standard wine bottle size of 750ml, magnum bottles, three liters and six liters are also included. Each year, we will update our Wine Vintage Chart so you’ll have an up-to-date Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon aging guide.

Our wine vintage chart educates on older Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons

Wine Vintage Chart: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Aging Guide

Cabernet Sauvignon aging potential is quite long due to this Bordeaux wine grape’s natural tannins, ample acidity and affection for oak. But, as with all red wine longevity, the key to aging gracefully in bottle for decades is balance in winemaking. Crafting cabernet sauvignon with fruit flavors, fine tannins, and natural acidity all in balance allows for the gradual, graceful aging and evolution of great cabernet in bottle.

With proper wine storage, Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has been known to maintain its grace and elegance in 750ml bottle for about 30 years. Though our winemakers prefer to drink Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 7-10 years after the vintage date, we continue to receive emails from customers who are still enjoying bottles from the late-1970s and 1980s. (I opened a bottle of 1980 Jordan for my birthday last weekend, and it was magnificent.) As a general rule, magnum and other large-format bottles of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon taste best 12-20 years after release.

As you’ll see in this wine vintage chart, Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon flavors change from vintage to vintage, but you’ll see some flavor trends in each decade as the wine ages in bottle. Taste characteristics range from the bold, ripe fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry in younger vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon to the subtle aromas of dried cranberry, black tea and leather found in bottles opened more than 10 years after their vintage date. If you like to taste a lot of fruit in your cabernet sauvignon, it’s best to enjoy it within about a decade of its vintage.

Virtually all wine vintage charts are produced by wine journalists who give each vintage for the entire wine region a score, based on the growing season weather and how the wines tasted while young. We decided that our wine vintage chart should be more of a hybrid wine aging chart/wine peak chart/wine flavor chart. Due to the breadth of the aging guide–it goes back to the inaugural 1976 Jordan–we have broken it into decades below. There are also links to download the full vintage chart. We hope you find it helpful when you’re storing bottles of great cabernet and trying to decide when to drink them.

History has shown us that when winemakers harvest cabernet grapes at traditional sugar levels (below 25 Brix) to keep alcohol levels lower (below 14%), retain the wine’s acidity, and age the wine in the types of barrels that do not overpower the fruit flavors, the cabernets tend to be more elegant and less of the powerhouse cabernet style that has come into fashion since the 1990s. In our experience, wines that are high in alcohol and tannin lack the acidity and fruit to age gracefully and taste harmonious when mature. Even for a bottle of red wine, one of the keys to a long life is balance and moderation.

Download Jordan Wine Vintage Chart

Download Jordan Cabernet Flavor Chart

Download Complete Jordan Cabernet Aging Guide (Both Charts PDF)Jordan Cabernet vintage wine chart 1976-1979

1976-1979 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages

The first few growing seasons for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon were a rollercoaster. Drought conditions prevailed in 1976, and 1977 enjoyed a small crop that yielded balanced wines. 1978 was considered the best of the four vintages, producing ripe, rich red wines. However, the 1979 was more balanced and elegant across the region–ideal for the Jordan house style. All Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons from the 1970s are considered past their peak, though we do come across the occasional 750mL bottle that is still alive. Jordan didn’t start producing big bottles in 1977, and the large-format bottles of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon are still quite alive, especially 1978 and 1979. Click view all vintages to see tasting notes from this vintage chart.

Jordan Cabernet vintage wine chart 1980-1989

1980-1989 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages

This is the decade Jordan Winemaker Rob Davis rarely wants to revisit, as it reminds him of all the challenging weather conditions he had to overcome to make great cabernet. Journalists declared 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 as the best vintages of the decade upon release–each producing ripe, flavorful red wines. 1981, 1982 and 1983 were considered tough years that produced leaner wines with 1981 being the most charming of the three. Even though 1980 had a large crop, the vintage has continued to surprise us; even the 750mL bottles are still alive in 2018. Both 1988 and 1989 yielded more simple wines even though 1988 was a small crop and 1989 a bumper. As with the 1970s, Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons from the 1980s are considered past their peak, though the 1985-1989 and the 1980 Jordan still have some life in 750mL. Large-format bottles are allowing the 1980s cabernets to retain a longer life. Click view all vintages to see tasting notes.

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon wine vintage chart 1990-1999

1990-1999 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages

Ah, the memories. There were so many great cabernets in the 1990s, it’s hard to pick the best. Look at all those red fruit notes in the wine vintage chart! Upon release, red wines from 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 1999 were all rich and complex; 1992, 1993 and 1995 produced cabernets that were most elegant and supple, but equally delicious. The 1996 is considered a sleeper vintage that came around with age; winemakers were struggling to replant vineyards due to the phylloxera epidemic, but compelling wines were still produced. 1998 was the most challenging vintage of the decade in terms of weather, yielding leaner, more elegant wines. But, 1998 blossomed and gained complexity with time. Magnums of 1998 Jordan opened at our winery Christmas party three years ago were the star of the show. Still alive with lots of cherry fruit and layers of silk. These vintages are still drinking nicely, so view the wine vintage chart for flavorful profiles that suit your taste. Click view all vintages to see tasting notes.

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon aging chart 2000-2009

2000-2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages

Another strong decade for great cabernet in California. 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009 are considered the best vintages, producing stunning, complex red wines. But, 2006 should not be overlooked, as it created cabernets that are concentrated and age worthy. The 2000 and 2008 vintages had the most challenging weather, but 2008 is a sleeper vintage–like the 1998–and has never tasted better. It has gained complexity with age. These cabernet vintages from the 2000s are in an optimal drinking window, with big bottles still showing the most dark fruit flavors, so view the wine vintage chart for flavorful profiles that suit your taste. Click view all vintages to see tasting notes. from this vintage chart.

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Aging and Flavor Profile Guide 2010-2016

2010-2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages

A string of great cabernet vintages with only one hiccup. The 2010 vintage was a cooler year producing more elegant cabernets, while the 2011 was so cold and rainy, that many winemakers struggled to make balanced wines. 2012, 2013 and 2014 are the best string of vintages in Jordan winemaking history; most Sonoma/Napa winemakers would agree. All three of highly textured, flavorful vintages with the tannin and acidity to age gracefully. The 2015 is a milestone vintage in its own right—being the first vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon aged entirely in French oak barrels. When looking for a vintage that flaunts Jordan’s hallmark silky-smooth style at an early age, look no further than the 2016.

Click view all vintages to see tasting notes.

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