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Posted - 09/26/2017 02:17pm
An Early Thanksgiving at Northern California’s Jordan Winery
HEALDSBURG, CA—Annual traditions come in various forms. There are family retreats and get-a-ways, family dinners and pancake breakfasts, and even flag football games on front lawns. The thread that ties such festive gatherings together is family.



Jordan Winery, located in the rolling hills of Healdsburg, California, has an extended family of which I am grateful to be a part. Every year they host a rather lavish tradition: a communal culinary celebration of the grape harvest season in the form of their fall harvest luncheons. These relaxed banquets, prepared by their chef and culinary staff, take place over several weeks in the month of September to show appreciation to employees, Estate Rewards members, vendors, contractors, and industry supporters. For me, it’s a time to get out of the office and reconnect with old friends and acquaintances while the grape harvest is in full swing.


The buffet takes full advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested right out of the winery’s breathtaking gardens. In fact, they gardens are so well tended and productive that visitors to Jordan often take the short stroll down the hillside to walk among the rows of blackberries, beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, kale, and other eatables.


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The lush vista can produce "garden envy" even within those who have the greenest of thumbs. Alas, if only, my small plot of weeds and tangled green bean sprigs could look so vibrant.


Served along with this years harvest lunch was, of course, a selection of Jordan’s current release (and oh so delicious) Sonoma County wines: 2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($32.00 for a 750ml bottle); 2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($55.00 for a 750ml bottle).; and a library selection from 2009 – another Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($67.00 for a 750ml bottle). All wines were extremely well made and fit for most any special occasion. Jordon’s longtime winemaker, and super nice guy, Rob Davis continues to delight his loyal fans and followers. It was such a treat for me to enjoy such fine wines with lunch on a work day!


A Jordon product new to me debuted at the luncheon: their 2016 Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($29.00 for a 375ml bottle). For the past twenty years or so the winery has been working to craft super premium olive oil from it’s own estate trees covering more than 18 hillside acres. I must say that, like their wines, the olive oil is wonderful and elegant. I dipped repeatedly.

And before I returned to my downtown Sonoma office there was one more thing that had to be done. I heard persistent braying and went to visit the winery’s resident donkeys for a short conversation and an ear scratch (theirs not mine). They were friendly and certainly loved the attention. The corral is near the garden and I believe the donkeys were braying for carrots rather than Cabernet. But with Jordon’s delicious wines in such close proximity I can’t be 100% sure about that.



2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay - Refined aromas of green apple, pear and lemon peel with a flinty note reminiscent of Chablis. Its elegant palate echoes the bouquet with clean, bright flavors of stone fruit and citrus, backed by firm acidity where oak is an afterthought. A touch of creaminess on the mid-palate is followed by lovely mineral notes that carry through an extraordinarily long finish. It would be hard to pick out this bottle as Californian in a lineup of White Burgundies. Enjoy now or cellar through 2022.

2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet - Intense aromas of cassis, black currants, blackberries and ripe cherries with a lovely floral note. The palate is rich and seductive, with concentrated flavors of blackberries and cassis interwoven seamlessly with fine tannins from new French oak barrels. Its masculine structure is harnessed by a beautiful balance of acidity and dark fruits with a long, cassis-laced finish. A highly collectible vintage to be enjoyed now or cellared through 2032. Decant for 45 to 60 minutes to elevate aromas and flavors.

2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet - Visually stunning with a deep garnet-ruby hue, the 2009 vintage of Jordan’s Bordeaux blend style of Cabernet Sauvignon shows enticing aromas of black cherry, plum, dark chocolate and leather that carry through a textured, silky palate with hints of baking spice and cedar—the hallmarks of French oak’s elegant integration. Still showing youthful acidity and bright fruit after years of age. Enjoy 750mL bottles through 2024, 1.5L bottles through 2032 and 3L bottles through 2042.

Although Jordan wines are nationally distributed, see their website for more information on library wine or olive oil purchases.—TS

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