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Colors Grounds 1024x682 Winery Visit, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, CaliforniaJordan Vineyard & Winery

The Jordan grounds are a sight to behold.  The approaching road winds through beautiful country and lulls one into the thought they must be approaching a modest farmhouse teeming with disheveled chickens pecking about, goats with neck bells clanging, and wafts of barnyard.

Instead, the road takes a decidedly manicured turn as gorgeous trees suddenly engulf your car. Then your eyes are diverted to foliage covered buildings, grand lawns, and lavish architecture.  Wow. I honestly involuntarily did a physical double take of the ilk you might see in an over-acted low budget film. The Jordan Estate is massive, unbelievably well groomed, and appears as though it was dropped whole through some wormhole connected to 17th century Versailles.  How could they possibly have built it in just 18 months?

Now, before you think your experience will center solely around grand buildings and a time travel trip to France, the wines absolutely hold their own. Once you try them you get the whole picture. Jordan has built an incredible wine destination and experience. I strongly suggest you see it for yourself.

Details of note

  • The property was purchased by the Jordans in 1972.
  • Their first vintage was in 1976.
  • The winemaker, Rob Davis, has been with Jordan since 1976.
  • Jordan spans across 1,200 acres, 110 of which are planted with wine grapes.
  • They produce 100,000 cases of wine each year, 2/3 of which are cabernet sauvignon, while the remaining 1/3 is chardonnay.
  • 21 acres are planted with petite verdot, and they think this sizable lot is the largest planting of that grape in the United States.
  • Their chardonnay is left on lees for 2 months (which explains its’ delightfully round and rich mouthfeel), goes through partial malolactic fermentation, and slumbers in new French oak for two years prior to release.
  • The Jordan cabernet rest in French and American oak, the latter specifically from Missouri.

Notes on the wines I tasted

2010 chardonnay ($29)

Nose/ Full mouthfeel. Oil weight is there, and at a very pleasant level. California butterscotch is about a 2 out of 10, but that is accompanied by a nice acid pop that reminds you it was made with gentle care and balance in mind.

Taste/ A layer of crème brûlée sits atop notes of apple and light toast. Delicious caramel notes. Very clean lines cut through yellow tropicals. A soft, extended close. Delicious.

2008 cabernet sauvignon (77% cabernet, 18% merlot, and 5% petite verdot) ($52)

Nose/ Bright blackberry, lightly smoked plums, flint and forest floor. Tobacco. Rhubarb. Light spice. Tiny waft of rubber tree is the only distraction to this great nose.

Taste/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Clean and fresh lines of black cherry and plum skins. Cranapple cocktail juice. Slight chalk on her close, but that is absolutely remedied by her silky, plumy, earth notes. An extended mineral presence closes her out. Delicious.

2003 cabernet sauvignon (81% cabernet, 15% merlot, 2% petite verdot, and 2% cabernet franc) ($59).

Nose/ Sweet, soft plum notes dance. Stewed cassis. Deep notes of forest floor. Medium smoked black fruits. Crushed autumn leaves. Savory mushrooms and flint notes steal the show. Complex. Dancing.

Taste/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Still with a touch of cranberry bite (assume would tame with more airing). The cranberry start leads into a wonderful black and purple fruit upsurge. Huge, but elegant. Boysenberry and leather notes on her close. Memorable, complete, and absolutely delicious.

Recipes and Food at Jordan 

Jordan stresses proper food pairings with their wines, as was evident during the wine tasting session. Don’t miss the in-depth food and recipe sections on their website: http://www.jordanwinery.com/culinary/recipes.

Two notable pairings that I experienced during the tasting session were a panzanella with their chardonnay and lamb with blackberry sauce with their cabernet sauvignon.

http://www.jordanwinery.com/

http://twitter.com/jordanwinery

  • Jordan Vineyard & Winery
  • 1474 Alexander Valley Road
  • Healdsburg, California 95448-9003
  • 800.654.1213
  • 707.431.5250

Majestic Grounds 1024x687 Winery Visit, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, California

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Italy Sparkling Brut Rosé Franciacorta Contadi Castaldi Lombardia 280x300 Italy, Sparkling, Brut Rosé, Franciacorta, Contadi Castaldi, Lombardia65% chardonnay, and 35% pinot nero

C/ Gorgeous cantaloupe / copper and light pink coloration.

N/ Strawberries, rose petals, light bread, and stone fruits. Hint of lime zest. Lovely.

T/ Creamy, medium-full mouthfeel.  Wow, the acid work gets one’s mouth watering right away. Delicious layers of raspberry and strawberry flavors are refined yet power packed. Clean, tight lines of structure very much please. Elegant and purely delicious.  

I loved this wine so much I could barely unhinge my hand because of an involuntary flute stem Kung Fu grip.

Trust me, you want this wine on hand for emergency celebratory moments.

Note: a very unique, and gorgeous bottle – apparently designed to provide, during the maturation phase of the wine, more surface / contact area with spent yeast – providing improved toasty and other notes, etc. that seep from those delicious  yeast bodies.

Price = $21-$28

Winemaker = Francesca Moretti

http://www.contadicastaldi.it/

and I don’t know why every winery does not do this…. nice picture of their staff… http://www.contadicastaldi.it/persone

N = A

T = A

I = A+

Overall = A / A+

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery and @FranciacortaUSA.

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USA Sauvignon Blanc Gallegos St. Helena Somerston Estate Napa Valley California 2012 255x300 USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Gallegos, St. Helena, Somerston Estate, Napa Valley, California, 2012N/ Thankfully, no cat aromas whatsoever. Fresh rain, pears, wet concrete and crisp, dried hay.

T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Clean, acid dancing, layers of light yellow fruits, soft hay notes, and hints of pineapple. An extended lime juice and light mineral close.

Very impressive, this would be absolutely perfect on a warm sunny day, or accompanying any type of seafood imaginable.

Winemakers = Ignacio Jr, Ignacio III, and Eric Gallegos.

http://www.gallegoswines.com/

Price = $22

N = A

T = A

I = A

Overall = A

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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USA Zinfandel Gnarly Head Old Vines Lodi California 2012 USA, Zinfandel, Gnarly Head, Old Vine, Lodi, California, 2012N/ Nutmeg, coconut, and clove on her start. Red berries, taffy, and a hint of rock. Crushed bricks.

T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Pronounced red berries and red fruits. While the fruit payload is clearly dominating, there is a light backbone of minerals, and a decent acid pop that lends some balance.

This is one of those reds that could clearly be a party favorite, as it is wallet friendly, doesn’t have any hard edges, delivers on the flavor, and even provides a little bit of acid pop for those that are into that sort of thing.

http://gnarlyhead.com/

Price = $8 – 11

N = B-

T = B-

I = B

Overall =  B-

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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USA Rose Mourvèdre Stinson Vineyards Monticello Virginia 2012 147x300 USA, Rosé, Mourvèdre, Stinson Vineyards, Monticello, Virginia, 2012100% mourvèdre

N/ Suggest you wait at least 20 to 30 minutes after opening this bottle as some reduced aromas needed to escape, at least from the bottle I had. After the short wait, she delivers nice Rosé hallmarks of fresh bracing fruit and raspberries, with a very nice mineral and rock presence.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. A solid, bracing acidity with raspberry, jolly rancher, and light lime zest notes. She has a delightfully soft, lovely, and weighty strawberry midsection. Her finish could be slightly improved by a little more acid presence. She ends with a pleasant and light mineral note.

http://stinsonvineyards.com/

Winemakers = Scott and Rachel Stinson

Price = $17

N = B

T = A-

I = B+

Overall = B+

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut, Franciacorta, Antica Fratta, Lombardia

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N/ Clean marine wafts, oyster shells, dried beach. Hay and yellow grasses. T/ Light mouthfeel. Bottle of sunshine with a spritz of salt and lime zest. Steamed hay. Extended steel, flint, and green apple skins on her close. Absolutely delightful. http://www.anticafratta.com/en/ Also, a well-translated and information packed descriptor here… http://www.anticafratta.com/pdf-eng/brut.pdf Alcohol = 12.5% Price = […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pine Ridge, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, 2010

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Rated 45 minutes after opening the bottle, no decant necessary. Red blend of: 90% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot, 1% cabernet franc, and 1% merlot. N/ Deep notes of black cherry and rich cassis, with mature, and in this one case, delicious tomato leaf aromas. Black soil. Forest floor. Mesquite wood. Baker’s chocolate and slate. […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Smith Madrone, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 2009

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N/ Right after decanting she started off a bit rough with a couple off aromatics reminiscent of tomato leaf and  green bell pepper. However, after about 30 minutes all those vapors vanished and out blossomed a lovely Napa Cabernet. Lightly smoked cassis and black cherry. Canvas, slate, and light gunnysack. Suggest decanting and waiting at […]

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60 Second Wine Country Restaurant Recommendation – Umé Bistro, Windsor, Sonoma, California

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Care to work in some sushi on your wine country trip to Sonoma? If yes, just get right off the freeway in Windsor and tuck in here… http://umebistro.com/ To the right of the entrance is one cozy room, or the larger room to the left. When I go to a new sushi place I usually […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Gallegos, Boekenoogen Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California, 2011

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N/ A juicy cherry blast with some expected black tea aromatics starts you out. She is intensely aromatic. Wonderful cherry and red berry payload is framed by wet cement and clean mineral notes. Smoke and spice. Powerful. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Bursting with black cherry, cherry, and red berry flavors. Absolutely bursting I tell you. A […]

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Italy, Glera, Sparkling Wine, Spumante Prosecco DOC Treviso, Mionetto, Brut, Valdobbiadene, Veneto

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N/ Toast points, fresh oyster shells, popping green apples, almond powder. Throughly pleasing – and for this price point? – well, simply remarkable. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Green apples and light white pear intertwine with ample acids and a touch of yeast/toast flavors. Clean lines of both mouthfeel and flavor –  and a nice backbone as […]

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USA, Syrah, Rusack Vineyards, Ballard Canyon Estate, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, California, 2011

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Red blend of: 91% syrah and 9% petite sirah. N/ Deep plum and blackberry stew, black cherries, and dark black soil. Rosemary, smoldering campfire, and split flint. Clean aromas of a fall forest floor. Fantastic. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Amazingly smooth. A light glycerol weight that helps bind together a remarkably balanced load […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Scott Harvey Wines, UC Davis Research Station, The Heritage Vineyard, Oakville, Napa, California, 2011, Zinfandel Experience

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Contemplating the all new Zinfandel Experience over a glass of 2011 Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel… C/ Garnet ruby clear shining clarity. A jewel. N/ Lightly white peppered ripe red berries, cherries, and cranberries. Clean wood lines. Dried forest floor. Crushed leaves. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Oh my, clean, tight lines here. Snapping and integrated acidity, […]

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Italy, Super Tuscan Red Blend (Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet, etc.), L’Andrea, Monte Vibiano, Colli Perugini Rosso DOC, Marsciano – Perugia, 2007

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Red blend of: sangiovese 50%, merlot 15%, cabernet sauvignon 15%, Syrah 5%, other red grape varieties 15%. N/ Lightly smoked black cherry, and deep red fruits with layers of earth, tobacco, wet, aged oak, and rock. Pine needles, sage, and wild herbs slow dance. Only, slight detraction, is a wee bit of reduced aromas that […]

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Italy, Sangiovese, Vecchio Rosso, Monte Vibiano, Marsciano – Perugia, Umbria, 2011

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She started out on the light side of the equation but, with time, became ample and full of fruit. A touch of spice and a delightful acid presence throughout the experience. Paired perfectly with roasted chicken and a persimmon chicken risotto. The balance between her ripe red fruit flavors, acid throughout, and clean lines made […]

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut, Franciacorta, Satèn, Lo Sparviere, Agricole Gussalli Beretta, Monteicelli Brusati, Lombardia

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N/ Acid dancing like her Franciacorta sisters do so well. Apple, hay notes, and toast points. The funk is a little intense here. I also get light resin and some hard herbals. Not nearly as balanced, for my nose, as other Franciacortas I’ve recently enjoyed T/ She is also crisp and fresh, but while her […]

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USA, Red Blend (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel), Nobel Vines, “1″, California, 2011

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Red blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel. N/ Lightly cedar-smoked big and bruising stewed plums and black cherries. Taffy, light confection, and a sophisticated swamp aromas. Coconut, caramel and chocolate wafts. Warm, thick, assertive – yet soft. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Juicy flavors of plums, soft ripe red berries, and black cherry […]

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut, Franciacorta, Ronco Calino, Agricole Ronco Calino, Agro, Lombardia

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N/ Steamed hay, crisp green apples, honeysuckle, white flowers and oyster shells. T/ Nice acids and crispness are present like her Franciacorta brethren, but just a tad less powerfully. Along with some lean green apple flavors I tasted some white pear. A few marine notes intrigue. She offers up some minerality in her lean and popping close. […]

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut, Franciacorta, Villa, Monticelli Brusati, Lombardia, 2007

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N/ Acid dancing hay, toast points, oyster shells, canvas, green apples, and a hint of dank funk – oh my. Lovely. Complex. Inviting. Clean. T/ Crisp, fresh, acid popping, and steely, but with a creaminess and depth of apple and toast flavors that leaves you wanting another sip much faster than many a sparkling wine. […]

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut, Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta, Lombardia

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White blend of: 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot nero. N/ A touch of funk layers over deep marine and fresh oyster aromas. There is a savory element here that is hard to describe – fresh white mushrooms perhaps. Lightly oxidized apple notes and a bracing acidity delight. Complex, fun, and deep. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Creamy […]

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