Jordan Chardonnay 2019
Vivid aromas of citrus blossom, white flowers, lemon curd and pears invite the first sip. Flavors of kumquats, Gravenstein apples and Meyer lemon peel dance with a harmonious frame of creaminess, juicy acidity and oak barrel notes, making it very versatile at the dinner table. Hints of tangerine peel and subtle green apple laced in oak linger on the succulent finish. More expressive in its youth than previous vintages.
Due to its crispness and citrus elements, the 2019 Jordan Chardonnay can be enjoyed as an aperitif and is also a versatile food pairing wine. Unlike many fuller-bodied Chardonnays, Jordan Chardonnay will not overpower salads or raw bar favorites, and it also creates a nice contrast of flavors with richer seafood, such as salmon or ahi tuna. The wine’s acidity and oak nuances can complement grilled chicken or roasted vegetable dishes and creamy pastas.
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Rob Davis retired from his four-decade post as founding winemaker at Jordan in September of 2019, when Maggie Kruse stepped up to the role, so this is one of the last wines they made together. This chardonnay impressed our panel for its flavors of fresh pears just coming into ripeness—“What I’m looking for,” said Tim Buzinski of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. “The fruit is abundant but very mild.” The wine’s toastiness comes more from lees than directly from oak, the pear and apple flavors mouthwatering and oceanic in their salinity. Completely dry, with lovely richness.
Jordan Vineyard & Winery focuses on just three things: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and hospitality. John Jordan’s guiding philosophy is that every vintage, every meal, and every tasting should be better than the last. There is a relentless drive to constantly perfect the craft.
Jordan wines are made in a more European style that allows them to pair well with a broad range of foods. Winemaking decisions emphasize the wine’s fruit and acidity rather than alcohol and tannin, and achieving elegance and balance in the bottle drives all that Jordan does in the vineyards and cellar. More than three-quarters of the 1,200 acres that surround the Jordan Winery Chateau remain wild, open spaces that myriad animals and plants call home. Preserving natural habitat and conserving resources are two tenets in sustainability efforts. The winery runs almost entirely on solar energy, and the vineyards and winery are certified sustainable.
As one of California’s iconic producers of classic Cabernet Sauvignon, John Jordan believes that the success should be used for a greater good beyond the glass. Since 2012, a large portion of the profits from Jordan Winery fund The John Jordan Foundation, which works to fight the negative effects of poverty in communities through education and health services.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.