The 2008 Jordan Chardonnay is marked by understated elegance. Bright, straw-green colored hue. The clean freshness of the nose opens up with vivid fruit aromas of green apples, pears and peach, and a touch of quince and kiwi. On the palate, similar notes are evident: bright fruits braced by crisp acidity and a lingering minerality. The finish brings the fruit, balance and finesse of this wine full circle.
Jordan winemaker Rob Davis on his 2008 Chardonnay:
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
In 1972, Tom and Sally Jordan, a young couple from Colorado who shared an unbridled enthusiasm for French food and wine, followed their hearts to California’s wine country. Since their inaugural 1976 vintage, the Jordans have been heralded for their elegant wines, culinary excellence and gracious hospitality. Jordan Vineyard & Winery lies tucked into the hills of Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, where the iconic Jordan chateau, inspired by the great estates of France, overlooks 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards with three quarters of the land dedicated to natural habitat. Today, second-generation vintner John Jordan continues to build upon the legacy of his parents, preserving the timeless winemaking qualities of balance, finesse and food affinity.
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The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
The proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.