Jordan winery has produced another elegant and delicious wine with its 2006 Jordan Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon.
In the early 1970s, successful oil businessman Tom Jordan wanted to buy Chateau Margaux, one of Bordeaux’s greatest estates, but was denied because he wasn’t French.
Turning his focus to America, Jordan and his wife, Sally, purchased 275 acres of orchard land in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley in 1972. With the intention of making world-class red and white wines, they converted the orchards to vineyards, built a stunning Chateau-styled winery and hired young winemaker, Ron Davis. America’s top winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, who in 1936 created the great Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve cabernet sauvignon, was hired as the consulting winemaker.
In 1980, Jordan released its first wine, the 1976 cabernet sauvignon. Impressed with its Bordeaux-style elegance, I quickly added it to my wine list at Le Delice restaurant. The following vintages showed that Alexander Valley was a place to grow quality grapes, and that Jordan winery knew how to convert them into flavorful, balanced and age-worthy wine.
I added each new vintage to my wine cellar and restaurant wine list. In the early 1980s, I spent a weekend at Jordan winery with Davis and Tchelistcheff. As we walked through the meticulously clean and organized winery, I tasted from various barrels as Tchelistcheff explained in his Russian-accented English why he and Davis selected specific barrels of wine for the final blend.
In the ensuing decades, Napa and Sonoma wineries increased their wine’s alcohol content, made cabernet sauvignon wines that often mimicked port and tasted like black berry marmalade.
Things changed at Jordan, too; but it wasn’t the wine. In 1994, Tchelistcheff died, and in 2005, Tom and Sally Jordan handed the reins of Jordan winery to their son, John.
The 2006 Jordan cabernet sauvignon is the 30th vintage that Davis has made. It is brilliant red with pleasing aromas of cranberry, black berry and white pepper. Its medium body carries a savory mix of ripe, late-summer raspberries and plum-like flavors. The tannins and fruit are perfectly integrated, giving the wine a full, round, harmonious texture and finish.
Whether it’s the first vintage or the 30th, Davis has kept Jordan on a consistent pleasing track. He has ignored the fads and trends popularized by wine critics and wineries seeking their high scores. Instead, Jordan has given us an American version of Chateau Margaux: perfectly balanced, flavorful wine that ages gracefully in your cellar. I still have a bottle of the 1976 Jordan in mine.
The 2006 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon retails for approximately $45.
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