Friday, September 01, 2006

2004, Jordan Chardonnay, Russian River

Jordan is a winery much in demand - I get requests for it all the time. With a long-standing reputation, there seems to be no limit to the number of people willing to buy simply based on the name. But does a winery like Jordan (or any other long-producing, highly allocated/extremely limited winery) deserve its reputation? Is the quality there to justify the non-stop demand? In Jordan's case, the answer is YES!

With the current releases, 2002, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley and the 2004 Chardonnay, Russian River, being some of the finest wines that the winey has produced in years, there is no doubt that Jordan has made a strong comeback from the lackluster wines of the replanting and reorganizing years.

I have been working with Jordan for about 10 years, now, and I am impressed (obviously) with these current releases. In particular, I think that the Chardonnay is true gem in the over-crowded super-premium Chardonnay category. It tends to be a bit overshadowed, or at least certainly in much less demand, than the Cabernet Sauvignon. But I see this wine as the better value from the winery.

The 2004 Chardonnay is from Russian River vineyards. The winery itself is located farther up in Sonoma, actually in the Alexander Valley, which can be hotter than the RR and not as well suited for Chard production. This fruit, though, coming from cooler vineyards to the south, exhibit a balanced quality with clean, fresh aromatics that I feel really sets it apart from other Chard's. No heavy oak residue, no off-puting sweet flavors; just a really pure California Chard. In the mouth this wines has a smooth texture without being heavy, and there is a mouth-coating feel that has crisp acidity to keep it lively. A very long finish with loads of snappy lemon, minerality and just a touch of vanilla and cream. Length. Dry, but not bone-dry. Very much like a 1er or Grand Cru Chablis. This is a wine that is definitely CA, but could satisfy the Burghound, as well.

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