An Afternoon at Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley 1

They know how to do things right at Jordan Winery. Every year the winery throws an epic holiday party at the winery in Sonoma for wine club members and friends of the winery. The theme this year was the ’50s—everyone was dressed up in retro gear, there was music from the era playing over the sound system and there was even an Elvis impersonator (the thin Elvis, not the porkchop Elvis).

Mrs. B and I brought her parents for an afternoon of fun and food. Once we found the photo booth it was game on. There may or may not have been some wine drinking that happened before we got in there. In fact, it was kind of fun to watch people loosen up over the course of the party as the wine flowed and the photos got funnier.

What Jordan Winery does well is…well, a lot of things. When it comes to rolling out the red carpet for visitors they do it better than anyone in wine country. As a wine geek I look forward to coming to the Jordan winery to see what older vintages they have open (often times they’re large format which is a bonus). Few wines can demonstrate the terroir of Alexander Valley over time like Jordan’s Cabernet’s.

The afternoon starts with a personal greeting at the front gate. Then you roll up the hill to Jordan’s well manicured lawns, gold and rust colored ivy walls and the chateau inspired winery set atop a hill overlooking 1,200 estate owned acres.

It might seem like you’re moving on up like George and Weezy when you arrive at the winery. And although it might look like a high falutin’ pretentious place (at least according the Yelpers) the people at Jordan are down to earth, warm and hospitable. They make you feel like you’re ‘home’.

This year Jordan and sister winery, J were doing a toy drive.






The winery always looks great this time of year. Most of the ivy going up the sides of the walls was still in tact and full of bright fall colors.

When you turn around you can see out over the property. Right over that short green hedge is a hill that slopes down into the property that features a mix of natural habitat and vines:

Not even ten steps into the winery and they’re already handing you a glass with the newest vintage of Chardonnay. In recent years, Jordan has refined their Chardonnay style by reducing malolactic fermentation so it’s not too “buttery” or over the top but more elegant.

Deviled eggs with bacon in them? Yes, please!

Obviously this was supposed to be the skinny Elvis, not the bigger, beefier Elvis of the 1970’s.

Finger foods featuring skewer shrimp, ahi tuna, prosciutto wrapped pears and caviar. Pinkies up!

Jordan often opens a range of vintages, including the current release. The winemaking style at Jordan is very consistent from vintage to vintage.

2005 was drinking really well out of 750ml bottles, and just now entering into its drinking window. If you have this vintage, I’d guess it’ll really be singing like a bird in 3-5 more years.

2004 wasn’t as hot of a year as 2005 and seemed to be drinking a bit better. Drink this vintage while waiting for the 2005’s to come around. That one extra year makes a difference.

2002 was really good vintage in California and this proved it. The 2002 was the crowd favorite and really demonstrated the benefit of aging wine. For me, I like my California Cabernet Sauvignon’s at least eight years old because the grape needs that kind of time to mellow out. That’s the personality of the grape—it’s not really a wine that shows its best stuff at a young age. Because Jordan’s wines are so well made, you really get to see what Alexander Valley is all about when drinking an older vintage. This would be the kind of wine you’d pour if you were teaching a class about Alexander Valley terroir.

Chicken pot pie in a little tiny hand held bite. Whoever thought of this is a frickin’ genius! But the best bite of the whole thing had to be these beef sliders:

As if we didn’t stuff our pie holes with enough good food and drink, they put the desserts out by the door. I may or may not have wolfed down a dessert or two on the way out.


A big thank you to the winery for inviting us to be part of the festivities!

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