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Comparing a Decade of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages in Magnum and Standard-sized Bottles

Good things don’t always come in small packages. Large-format vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon are a case in point: these big bottles bring delicious rewards to those who wait. Since our second vintage in 1977, we have been producing a small selection of 1.5, 3 and 6 liter-sized bottles to sell, enjoy and rest in our winery cellar for the years to come. Over time, these handcrafted wines have developed flavors and nuances unique to each vintage and bottle. The larger bottle sizes allow some of our oldest vintages to age with grace while still expressing a youthful freshness reminiscent of the day they were released.

Without getting overly technical, as wine ages it undergoes oxidation—the process by which oxygen molecules interact with other substances. Think of a freshly-cut apple that quickly turns brown or a copper penny that gradually turns green—both instances are byproducts of oxidization. In the case of wine, too much oxygen in the aging process makes the wine taste sour or spoiled–too little, and the wine can taste tight or closed-off. Navigating the balance between these two extremes is the dance we call “bottle ageing.”

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the bottle size, the slower the oxidization process will take place. This is because a big wine bottle holds less oxygen between the cork and the fill line relative to the volume of wine, which in turn means that the wine inside the bottle will oxidize at a slower rate. The type of closure used in the bottle also makes a difference—a synthetic or screw-cap type closure allows very little oxygen (next to none) to enter the wine, while a natural cork closure gently allows tiny bits of beneficial oxygen to seep into the bottle over time. Slower oxidation means a longer aging process thereby positively effecting aromas, flavors and the overall stability of the wine. As a result, large bottles of our Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon sealed under natural cork closures are more resistant to cellar temperature irregularities and will reach their peak long after their 750mL counterparts have reached their prime.

Armed with this knowledge, we sat down with the winemaking team to conduct a set of vertical tastings designed to examine the difference between nine vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons (2001-2009) aged in 750mL-sized bottles versus the same nine vintages aged in 1.5-liter bottles. The results were both surprising and impressive. The oldest vintages of 750mLs showed beautiful characteristics of dried fruit and leather notes while the magnums of the same vintages expressed fresh, black fruit flavors and cigar box aromas.

Every large format bottle of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon is carefully labeled and inspected for superior quality. Every 3- and 6-liter bottle is filled by hand and each cork is individually selected by our winemaking team to ensure product excellence. If you are looking for a bottle or a collection of bottles to put away for a special occasion such as a wedding, birth of a child, anniversary or a birthday bash many years in the future, large-formats are your best choice.

Thinking about purchasing a magnum, double magnum or imperial of Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon? Or perhaps you’re wondering when to drink big bottles aging in your cellar? Use our latest tasting notes and decanting recommendations as your guide.

 

Tasting Notes:

2009 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 7 300x600

750mL

Visually stunning with a deep garnet-ruby hue, the 2009 vintage of our Bordeaux blend style of Cabernet Sauvignon shows an elegance of fruit expression, lively acidity and tannin. Flavors of boysenberry, Bing cherry and cassis are supported by oak integrated hints of baking spice and vanilla. Enjoy now or cellar the 750mL through 2024.

1.5L

The 2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum released officially in summer of 2015. Concentrated flavors of rich black fruit and deep cherry rest on a backdrop of bright acidity and structured tannin. This wine is built to last—enjoy now after a two-hour slow decant or cellar through 2032.

 Decanting recommendation:

30-60 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 1.5-2 hours prior to serving 1.5L

2008 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 25 300x600750mL

Elegant aromas of crushed cherries, pomegranate and vanilla open to a soft, silky mouthfeel with flavors of rich red plum and baked blackberry. Subtle hints of nutmeg and allspice draw from well-integrated oak aging, balanced by soft fruit tannins. Enjoy now or cellar the 750mL through 2020. Decant prior to serving to further accentuate the aromas and flavors.

 1.5L

The 2008 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum boasts lush red fruit flavors and baking spice aromas from the use of French oak barrels. The fruit tannins in large format show more structure than their softer expression in the 750mL. Enjoy this wine with friends after a 90-minute decant or cellar through 2030.

Decanting recommendation:

30-60 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 60-90 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2007 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 24 300x600750mL

Touted as one of the best vintages on record in Sonoma County, our 2007 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon exudes beautiful, dense, blackberry aromas that echo through the mid-palate. An ideal mouthfeel of silky-woven tannins and expertly balanced acid is accented by notes of vanilla bean and cedar box. Showcase this wine with a grilled NY strip and maitre d’hotel butter for a classic Cabernet Sauvignon pairing. Drink the 750mL now or cellar through 2021.

1.5L

Rich blackberry flavors and aromas shine in 2007 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon magnums. The silky tannins and balanced acidity of the 750mL are further expressed in the magnum format, complemented by fresh youthful notes of bright cheery and plumb blossom. Serve now for a special occasion following a 60-minute decant or cellar through 2030.

Decanting recommendation:

30 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 60 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2006 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 43 300x600750mL

Enticing aromas of blueberry and cranberry open to flavors of black cherry and sweet tobacco. Soft, round tannins and structured acidity create a velvety texture on the mid-palate, transitioning into a long and memorable finish. Graceful bottle aging has enhanced this balanced and approachable Cabernet Sauvignon worthy of cellaring through 2021.

1.5L

Fresh berry patch flavors and light aromas of violets in the 2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum offer brighter notes compared to the standard-size bottling, suggesting that this wine will continue to blossom with bottle age. Serve now with braised lamb dishes and a 90-minute decant or cellar through 2028.

Decanting recommendation: 

30-60 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 45-90 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2005 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 10 300x600750mL

Delicate aromas of blueberry compote, rose petal and tobacco, build to a palate of red currant, dried cherry, and blackberry with a hint of vanilla and coconut from oak aging. Round tannins balance and support this medium-bodied wine that will continue to age gracefully until 2020.

1.5L

Complex notes of blueberry, dried cranberry and cigar box meld with perfect balance to round tannins and structured acidity in the 2005 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon magnum bottles. Similar to the 750mL, this wine has enjoyed the benefit of bottle aging and will continue to develop through 2030. Enjoy now following a 90-minute decant in order to best accentuate this wine’s elegant aromas and flavors.

Decanting recommendation:

45-60 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 60-90 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2004 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Jordan-Winery-Alexander-Valley-Cabernet-2004-LR750mL

The 2004 vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has blossomed with notes of white cherry, plum and cassis, laced with a thread of allspice and cedar throughout the mid-palate and finish. Layers of red currant, cranberry and rhubarb give this wine a savory richness, perfectly suited to robust meat dishes.  Enjoy now while in its prime or cellar through 2017.

1.5L

Unlike the delicate floral aromas in the 750ml, the 2004 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum shows fuller notes of ripe cranberry and raspberry, complemented by hints of baking spice from oak aging. Enjoy now with a meal of duck confit served after a 90-minute decant, or lay bottles down through 2024.

Decanting recommendation:

30-60 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 45-90 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2003 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Jordan-Winery-Alexander-Valley-Cabernet-2003-LR750mL

The exemplary 2003 growing season in Alexander Valley produced a complex, ever-evolving wine that has come into its own with age. Over time, the oak has transitioned into a supporting role for the delicate black cherry flavors and exotic notes of earl grey tea and cigar box that float from the glass. Accompanied by an elegant balance of spices, acidity and silky tannins, this wine is a welcome addition at the dinner table to be enjoyed now through 2018.

1.5L

In a fantastic vintage like 2003 for Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the magnum format allows collectors to continue to enjoy this wine long after the 750ml has pasted its prime. Aromas of ripe cherry and jasmine tea give way to flavors of black currant, perfectly suited to holiday menu items like oven roasted venison and cherry smoked bacon. Decant for 90 minutes and serve now or cellar through 2023.

 Decanting recommendation:

30-60 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 45-90 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2002 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Jordan-Winery-Alexander-Valley-Cabernet-2002-LR750mL

After more than 10 years in the bottle, the 2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has evolved into a ringer for Left Bank Bordeaux with a classic perfume of red cherries and violets, backed by seamlessly integrated tannins. A rich mid-palate of silky black fruit is woven with dried coconut and vanilla that transition into a lingering finish. Drink now or cellar through 2018.

1.5L

Aromas of bright cherry and vanilla unfold in the glass, as the elegant characteristics of bottle aging begin to express themselves in the 2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon magnums. Unlike its 750mL counterpart, this wine has a robust mid-palate of red currant and cassis balanced by clean acidity and oak tannin. Slowly decant for 60 minutes and enjoy now or cellar through 2024.

 Decanting recommendation:

30 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 60 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

 

2001 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 9750mL

Fragrant aromatics of black currant, jasmine and mint open up to flavors of red and black cherry with attractive, earthy notes of leather, tobacco and cedar typical of a mature Bordeaux-style wine.  Handcrafted to stand the test of time, this wine shows an elegant backbone of acid and tannins designed to complement savory dishes such as mushroom risotto and braised lamb. Open the 750mL now and enjoy through 2018

1.5L

Woven flavors of black currant and mint tea complement aromas of dried cloves and cigar box in the 2001 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon magnums. The larger format bottle has allowed the wine to mature more slowly than in the 750mL, encouraging a brighter expression of fruit and structural tannin. Serve now with a gentle 45-minute decant or cellar through 2021.

Decanting recommendation:

15-30 minutes prior to serving 750mL; 30-60 minutes prior to serving 1.5L

3 Comments
Frank (Tip) Pace

I have a few1999 and 2 of the 2000 in the 750 ml. The 1999 seems past its prime. Same with the 2004 which I have 2 cases? I see the recommendation is “drink by 2017” for the 2004 thus it had no structure? Why does it cellar poorly? I guess I have passed it over several times as I loved the 2005 and now have very little left.

(Reply)
Lisa Mattson

Our winemaking team actually re-tasted the 2004 in August this past year and it’s tasting wonderful. They estimated that this vintage will reward collectors through 2022. You can find their full tasting note here: https://www.jordanwinery.com/wines/alexander-valley-cabernet-sauvignon/vintages/2004.

(Reply)
Lisa Mattson

We find that 1999 is still alive, but it’s certainly showing mature cabernet aromas and flavors–more herbs, spices and cedar than fruit. 2005 was a warmer vintage, and it still has more body and fruit than 2004 did at the same time in its life. Perhaps you prefer fruit? If so, I would recommend collecting vintages like 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016–and drink them within 10-15 years of their harvest vintage.

(Reply)

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Lisa Mattson

Videographer, photographer, writer and publicist. Find me on weekends trying to capture footage of the elusive Jordan Estate jack rabbits and turkeys.

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