Cookies and cabernet. That certainly isn’t the food and wine pairing that has sommeliers singing all the way to the cellar. But in the spirit of the holidays, our winemakers decided to uncork a bottle of the 2014 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and taste it with some favorite Christmas cookies. In this month’s episode of Jordan Uncorked, the question is not when to drink this vintage (it will live for decades). We want to see how this food-friendly red wine stands up to sugary desserts, which usually mute the wine’s flavors and accentuate the alcohol.
We also have a few questions for you. What do you think of Assistant Winemaker John Duckett as Kris Kringle and Associate Winemaker Maggie Kruse as Sugarplum Mary? Would you drink Jordan Cabernet with cookies? And most importantly, which vintages would you like our winemakers to uncork in the new year? Comment with your requests.
Curious how that bottle of 2001 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in your cellar tastes right now? Kevin Bryant is, so we opened one in this month’s episode of Jordan Uncorked. Watch to find out if this aged red wine is ready to drink. We only have big bottles of the 2001 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon left in our cellar, starting at $289 for the magnum.
Which vintage would you like our winemakers to uncork next? Leave us a comment.
With constant budget cuts to public education, teachers increasingly find themselves wanting more than their paltry budgets can afford. In some classes, these educators wish for books. In others, the needs are more basic: pens, paper, maybe an overhead projector so students can follow a lesson.
Since 2012, the John Jordan Foundation (JJF) has sought to bridge some of these gaps with the Teachers’ Wishes initiative. The goal of the campaign is simple: To make wishes for certain teachers come true. Every September, teachers can submit applications to receive funding for one wish. In seven years, the foundation has funded a total of 725 grants.
The Teachers’ Wishes program set a new record in 2018. The foundation received 243 applications and distributed 120 fully funded grants. The remaining 123 teachers each received $20 gift cards to Office Depot. That means every applicant received funding of some kind. Though there have been years with more applications, 2018 was the largest number of wishes JJF fulfilled since the program’s inception.
All told, the applicant pool represented 106 schools across 30 districts in Sonoma County. According to Lisa Wittke Schaffner, executive director of the foundation, the breadth and depth of the application pool was a reminder that teachers are committed to doing their best. “Each year, Teacher’s Wishes reminds me of the creativity and desire of educators to provide an interactive and interesting environment for their students,” she said.
A handful of applications were particularly inspiring. Like the one from Santa Rosa City Schools, in which a teacher requested money to purchase more books to help students prepare for the ACT, SAT, and Advanced Placement exams, as well as books to help students write college essays. Or the application from a teacher in Sebastopol, who said her school’s campus is poorly landscaped and requested money to buy some trees.
“This grant program allows teachers to have a new teaching tool and purchase project supplies to get the kids excited about learning,” Wittke Schaffner said.
The Teachers’ Wishes program is an annual program, which means teachers can submit new applications to fund additional wishes as soon as September 2019. At a time when budgets are shrinking across public education, it’s great to be able to make some teachers’ wishes come true.
A significant portion of the proceeds from Jordan Winery fund the foundation, which works to fight the negative effects of poverty. Learn more at www.johnjordanfoundation.org.
Mother Nature has a track record of rewarding grape farmers and winemakers the year after a challenging vintage, and we were hoping grape harvest history would repeat itself with an incredible vintage in 2018 to follow the extremely difficult 2017. (She blessed us with one of the best wine vintages of my career in 2012 after 2011 brought a hard reminder that nature does have a cycle.) It’s remarkable how similar the 2018 vintage is to 2012. If you loved the wines from Napa and Sonoma from what’s been called the “vintage of the century,” get ready for the next contender of space in your wine cellar. Looking back over the last eight months since bud break in the vineyards, there are four key factors that led to a phenomenal wine vintage for Sonoma County grapes in 2018. Watch all my 2018 harvest update videos on Facebook.
The Munselle Vineyards picking crew harvests hillside cabernet sauvignon grapes for Jordan on October 11, 2018.
2018 Vintage Weather Returned to Normal
After years of drought, hot summers and early harvests, 2018 was the first vintage in recent memory that returned to what I call the “old normal.” The entire 2018 growing season was 3-4 weeks later than recent vintages. 2018 reminded me more of classic vintages from the 1990s when winter stayed cool with just enough rainfall and bud break in the vineyards occurred at a more typical time in late March. This set the pace for the grape growing season to continue progressing at a somewhat late yet normal pace. Very little rain or wind during the May flowering period let to a generous but not excessive cluster count. August felt like the old days—very foggy, cool mornings where the sun didn’t peek through the marine layer until lunchtime. The only real weather concerns of the entire vintage was a heat spike in June during fruit set and a little rain in late September. Fortunately, all of the thin-skinned chardonnay grapes were picked for Jordan before the rain, and cabernet sauvignon was born with a raincoat. We actually prefer a little rain between the white and red grape harvests to cleanse the Bordeaux variety grapes. The weather was glorious throughout October with cool, foggy mornings and sunny days.
Malbec grapes ready for harvest on September 21, 2018.
The Grapes Were Small in Size
When fruit set occurred in June, the 2018 crop looked average in size, and I called it an “average but not great” crop size in my first Facebook Live growing season report of the vintage. I even said that 2018 clusters weren’t going to be as full as 2012 or even 2016. But as summer progressed, the clusters kept filling out beautifully, and there were many more berries per cluster than usual. This is what happened in 2012 as well. The similarities I found with the 2012 vintage and 2018 vintage gave me impetus for using the 2012 cluster weights in assessing the crop level for 2018. It is always a big guess as to how many tons per acre a block of grapes will produce. Experience certainly helps, but grower and winemaker are still more often wrong than right with their crop estimates. 2018 was no exception. As the cool weather prevailed through much of the summer, the vines kept drinking up the water from the irrigation and gleefully putting it in the clusters. Cluster sizes in many grower’s blocks were at a record high. As the vintage continued to fill our tanks in the fermentation room, totals from each block came in with similar yields as 2012. One grower of note set a record for his block at almost twice the normal yield.
Merlot grapes awaiting harvest at Munselle Vineyards on September 22, 2018.
2018 Will Be Remembered as the Ultimate Hang-Time Vintage
As previously mentioned, August was quite cool, and the heat spikes that the end of summer usually delivers never arrived in Sonoma. The days had such long, cool mornings and moderately warm afternoons in September that we called off all Jordan Chardonnay picks, giving the grapes increased time to hang and develop more intense flavors. With no threat of rain in the forecast in early or mid-September, winemakers had the luxury of letting all the grapes further mature as the varietal aroma, mid palate and depth of fruit concentrated. The gorgeous weather continued in October, when winemakers are usually worrying about fall rains and the vines beginning to shut down for the season. At the same time pumpkins were being harvested as Halloween décor, winemakers were able to work at a more relaxing pace, let fermentations progress naturally and wait to pick the grapes at just the right moment. This allowed the smaller berries of 2018 to develop a very intense level of dark fruit flavors and mature tannins in the red wine grapes and very bright, apple flavors in the chardonnay grapes. 2018 was the first vintage since 2010 that we were still harvesting grapes the morning of the Jordan Halloween party (October 20).
The bountiful harvest continued through late October 2018 for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2018 Vintage Delivered High Quantity and High Quality Grapes
Both winegrower and winemaker are content with a bountiful harvest, but the winemaker alone is only content when the bountiful harvest means beautiful aromas, rich flavors and deep fruit character. We were both all smiles in September when the 2018 grape harvest began. It’s very rare that both of these things happen in concert—there’s usually some sort of issue with a little rain or a heat spike—but 2018, like 2012, is one of those phenomenal, special vintages were plentiful is the defining descriptor—lots of beautiful grapes with tremendous flavor concentration in the berries. Even though the berries were smaller, the weight of the clusters was record-breaking for cabernet sauvignon—about 0.4 pounds compared to the typical 0.25 to 0.30 pound per cluster of grapes. But the depth of flavor wasn’t impacted at all from the copious cluster weights. The blackberry and cassis flavors in the cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes are exceptional, and the natural grape tannins were ideal. Winemaking and grape growing are earth sciences, and we humbly yield to the variable nature of each vintage. After a difficult 2017 that was out of balance with excessive heat and small yields from every grower, we feel like we all deserved a generous harvest like 2018.
As the last tank is pressed, we sit back in our easy chair and start to doze off until the next harvest. Just kidding. With the “barn” full of race horses, our winemaking team will begin assembling the 2018 blend. Barrels from our friends in France begin to arrive and then we start the process of pumping out the 2017 vintage into barrels to make room for our new young child, the 2018. The cycle continues and the excitement of the new harvest inspires our senses as to how we will shape the new vintage to earn the name, Jordan.
View our full 2018 Grape Harvest photo album:
The 2018 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon will release in spring 2022, and the 2018 Jordan Chardonnay will release in spring 2020.
The new Jordan Holiday Gift Guide debuts this week, offering delicious gifts for wine lovers. Whether you’re looking for Christmas presents, corporate gifts and gifts for clients, this year’s gift guide features several new wine gift boxes, wine gift sets, food gifts, build-your-own gift boxes with special vintages and dedicated concierge services for corporate gifts. There’s also 30-50 percent off shipping on qualifying multi-package orders.
Wine gift boxes are always a classy choice for Christmas gifts. Jordan offers its current release Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in one-bottle gift boxes, as well as both Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in a two-bottle wine gift box. There’s also a trio of three vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in wine gift box. Looking for gifts for food and wine lovers? The Jordan Signature Trio Collection features Jordan Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a three-bottle gift box. Interested in a special vintage? Build your own wine gift box on our online shop.
A wooden wine box filled with quality wine always gets rave reviews from loved ones, employees and clients. The two-bottle box featuring current vintage Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon is one of our most popular corporate gifts. Six- and 12-bottle wooden wine gift boxes are also available.
Jordan’s holiday gift guide includes convenient shopping for corporate gift ideas and special concierge services for multi-package orders. Our personalized concierge services for corporate gifts are also highlighted in the Jordan Holiday Gift Guide and in the dedicated corporate gifting services section. Jordan Winery’s online shopping cart also offers convenient shipping to multiple addresses; our concierge can also handle all of the administrative work for your order and send you a price quote for approval.
“We pride ourselves in personalized gifting services for businesses,” said Maribel Soto, Director of Jordan Estate Rewards, who works closely with customers who purchase corporate gifts for clients or employee appreciation gifts. “Our Guest Services management team personally oversees all corporate orders to help alleviate the stress customers can endure when coordinating corporate gift orders.”
An elegant wine gift box filled with an equally elegant 2016 Jordan Chardonnay.
Wine Shipping Discounts
Shipping discounts for corporate and other multi-package gift orders are also available, based on quantity:
Order 12 or more gift boxes or wooden gift sets and receive 30% off shipping.
Spend $2,500 or more on any combination of products and receive 50% off shipping.
Jordan wooden wine boxes can be engraved and personalized.
Corporate Gifts: Personalized Wine Gifts
Other Jordan corporate gifting services include personalized wine gifts for a unique gift ideas, including custom-etched wine bottles and laser-etched wooden wine boxes. Personalized gift orders require additional processing time 7-14 days due to the custom artistry.
Buying Jordan Wine Online: Holiday Shipping Deadlines
All Jordan wine and gourmet food gift orders must be placed by November 19 for Thanksgiving delivery and by December 17 for Christmas and New Year’s Eve delivery due to winery holiday closure dates. Please note that 10 or more orders require three additional business days to process. Orders can be placed by calling 800-654-1213, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or shopping online.
View the Jordan Shop for more information on shipping discounts, shipping deadlines and other perks. Happy Holidays!