For me, the magic of Jordan was that their story started with a love story. Nestled in the pastoral hills of the Alexander Valley, the Jordan winery is a lovely property whose chateau was inspired by the great castles of Normandy, but adapted to sit naturally into the California landscape. Three quarters of the estate's land is still untouched with original oak trees, with the gorgeous fruit to produce the focused offerings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay growing on the rest. The winery comes from Tom Jordan's love of all things French, especially wine. Tom's family values included a deep love of quality and passion for producing wine that will delight a table full of guests as well as be a responsible and sucessful commercial concern. He started Jordan in 1972. In 2005, his son John Jordan, took over. I attended a blogger's lunch as a guest of the Jordan Winery and got the chance to experience firsthand the amazing hospitality the team delivers. In our case we were greeted by John Jordan himself. In speaking with him about his diverse background, he made it clear that what he loves to do is match passion with tasks, so that he fosters harmony within the Jordan community in order to bring the best of the best forward. I can tell you, it shows. If you are planning a visit, take the extra steps to reserve a spot on one of the tours. You will love it! We were lucky enough to get a special VIP lunch, which included vertical pairings. Yum! Chef Todd Knoll dazzled us with a Mero Seabass and Tasmanian Salmon, which were accompanied by fresh picked peas and ramps. Paired with the 2005, 2007 and 2008 Chardonnays, it was a delicious match. Ramps are an onion relative and their tender, savory flavor seasoned the perfect fish and were interesting with all three of the whites. Chardos tend not to be my favorite, but these were bright, layered, intriguiging,and ---of course--- super food friendly. Course Two was Grilled Sonoma Lamb with Carrots, Fava, Morels and Black Garlic Jus. This dish was simply out of this world. Perfectly cooked, spiced and seasoned lamb along with all things fresh from the Chef's Garden, including Fava blossoms, which I had never seen before and were delightful. Bonus: gorgeous, elegant lovely Cabernets, for which I have not the least bit of ambivalence. Excelllent!
My notes on the Cabs were:
1999 - Lovely complex nose, red currants, berries, prune, cherries, a touch of licorice with gentle tannins and meltingly lovely flavors.
2005 - Lots more aromas of blue fruit, more pronounced Bordeaux-like characteristics.
2007 - Yummy wine that brought out the Wine Cougar in me as the 07 was my favorite of the 3. Scrappier tannins and interesting flavors. Simply wonderful all.
After that it was a tour of the gardens, house (including secret passage ways), earthquake proof barrel room and a dessert course of surpassing delight including botrytised wine! YUM! At every touch point, the passion of all of the Jordan team members for their mission as well as the deliciousness of their vision was clear.
So, the visit started with the love story of the Jordans, Mr. Jordan Sr.'s with France and wine making as a business, and also, John's love for what he does and for bringing passion for the artistry of wine and the art of hospitality. For me, it ended with a total crush on Jordan wine and the Jordan experience. Whether you are ordering Jordan in your favorite restaurant, looking for a reliable hostess gift at Safeway or making plans to visit the estate yourself, the focused quality, passion and (best of all) deliciousness will shine through. Many thanks to Lisa Mattson for all her hard work to organize a lovely event! Thanks!
Wow - what a fabulous experience! I am a fan of Jordan winens - thanks for sharing the delicious details!
Thanks again for visiting the winery and taking the time to write about your experiences. We'll be posting some great videos with Chef Knoll on our video blog next month.
Hope to see you soon.
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