When it comes to California Chardonnay, you can go in many different directions. From lean to opulent, there is a wide spectrum of styles. And Jordan Winery, encompassing 1,200 gorgeous acres of Alexander Valley, really tickled my fancy with how their Chardonnay flag flies. I’ve been enjoying Chardonnay from Jordan for the last few vintages and they really nailed it with the 2013. (Which was a free media sample, BTW.)
The 2013 Jordan Chardonnay
Before I elaborate, there is one thing I need to say. When it comes to Chardonnay,
It’s like Chardonnay is on Tinder, swiping hella left, and feeling very fussy, finicky, and unfulfilled. (UNLIKE ME, OF COURSE.) Until coming across an oak barrel. Which not only had natural good looks, an upright nature, and curves, but also some words of interest:
Looking to add richness and texture to your world without stifling your true nature. Battonage, lees, and stirring things up? Yes, please. NO FLAKES AND NO HOOKUPS!*
And Chardonnay swipes right and it’s totally a match.
Ok, back to the 2013 Jordan. See, the right amount of oak adds lots of good stuff but not tons of coconut-y flavor. I like a good coconut cream pie, just not in my wine glass.
What about unoaked Chardonnay? Frankly, it is often bland and boring. The only noticeable quality it has is shrillness. Which I guess does make it memorable in some way. Of course, Chablis, which is often done without oak (especially at the modestly priced levels) rules the world and is an extremely notable exception.
So here’s my formula for great Chardonnay:
- UPPERCASE FRESH
- lowercase creamy
The fruit for the 2013 Jordan Chardonnay comes from the Russian River Valley. It was given the 100% French oak treatment for 6 months, with 40% of those barrels being new. (Another way to dial in the amount of oak that ends up in your wine glass is by using a big chunk of used barrels, which impart less flavor.) Suggested Retail Price: $30.
For more Jordan, check out my podcast recorded at the winery; they hosted me there in 2013. I spoke with Greg Miller (who was the Director of Wine at the time) about food and wine pairing while eating and drinking outside. (I know, S-W-E-E-T!) Plus I went up to Vista Point (that’s the photo at the top, courtesy the winery) to talk to CEO John Jordan. Have a listen:
*I pulled that last sentence from an actual Tinder profile that I swiped left on. It was not all caps; that was just my embellishment. And I don’t think there was an exclamation point, either.