On May 25, 2022, Jordan Vineyard & Winery celebrates 50 years of winemaking history. An extremely special occasion that also marks one decade since the inception of the company’s philanthropic arm, the John Jordan Foundation. This marks a great opportunity to celebrate both the company’s achievements and its determination to give back to the community.
Tom and Sally Jordan founded their eponymous Alexander Valley estate in 1972 inspired by the great Bordeaux domaines and the fundamental connection between wine, food and hospitality. Their aim was not merely to convey a sense of place but rather to create a unique setting that celebrates all the good things in life. By combining vineyards, winemaking facilities, dining areas and guest suites, they pioneered a holistic approach that, to this day, serves as a benchmark for producers in California and beyond.
As part of the milestone celebration, Jordan will be unveiling three new releases: 2018 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (Magnum), and 2020 Jordan Chardonnay. The three wines will offer a great showcase of the style and character the winery has refined, in both vineyard and cellar, for the past half century. A work of great attention to detail and attunement to grape variety, vineyard location and skilful winemaking.
Jordan started by following the Bordeaux model, using estate-grown fruit only. Years of experience showed that, by partnering with growers and sourcing grapes in multiple locations farther northeast toward the mountains for cabernet sauvignon and southwest toward the Pacific Coast for chardonnay allowed them to achieve even more elegance and ageability. These are the core principles that have long guided Jordan: approachable complexity and age-worthiness.
Jordan’s 50th anniversary also serves to acknowledge those who, throughout five decades of history, allowed the company to establish its reputation, define its character and evolve. Among them are the iconic oenologist André Tchelistcheff, the father of modern Californian winemaking who consulted for Jordan in its early days, Rob Davis, who guided the estate’s winemaking from the inaugural 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon until his retirement in 2019, and Maggie Kruse, who took over from Davis then. Having been at Jordan since 2006, and worked closely with Davis, Kruse has developed a wide skill set and is the perfect guardian of the winery’s legacy. Their contributions live on and will be invoked in a series of celebratory dinners, at the chateau and in select cities throughout the United States, with proceeds benefiting local charities. This year, part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Jordan will host Social Impact Summer, an exciting series of gastronomic and cultural events that extends Jordan’s philanthropic impact to organisations across the U.S.
Philanthropy has long been a priority for owner and CEO John Jordan, having taken a formal shape through the creation of the John Jordan Foundation ten years ago. The institution supports disadvantaged children and young adults, providing the educational tools and skills that allow them to flourish and succeed in life. Since its inception the foundation has supported more than 220 organisations and 400 Californian schools and, through these, thousands of individuals and families. May this year may also be a celebration of their future.
Jordan’s celebratory launches tasted:
The wines were tasted and scored independently by the Decanter team.
100% Chardonnay; 100% Russian River Valley
Drink now – 2032
A wine that shows robust elegance and approachable complexity. A fine nose with aromas of fleshy lemon, peardrop and Granny Smith apple, all topped by a mineral nuance. On the palate, the attack echoes the nose, with generous yet refreshing fruit supported by pleasantly firm acidity. It opens in the glass revealing layers of toasted almonds, coconut shavings and crème brulée, leading onto the long finish. Lingering notes of white grapefruit and fresh pineapple. A great example of Russian River Valley Chardonnay, extremely well crafted.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec; 87% Alexander Valley, 10% Mendocino County, 3% Dry Creek Valley
Drink now – 2035
Expressive nose with black cherry and plum underscored by sandalwood and petricor. The palate is at once luscious and extremely fresh, driven by a good acid backbone and firm yet soft tannins. Both alcohol (very balanced at 13.7%) and wood are very well integrated, supporting the quality of the fruit and never taking centre stage. Flavours of blackberry compote and poached plums mingle with nutmeg, cloves and star anise. A wine to be enjoyed with food. Good cellaring potential.