Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 6

(clockwise, from right) Soil samples from
Jordan’s top vineyard blocks in Alexander
Valley; Winemaker Rob Davis evaluates a
Cabernet Sauvignon lot; a barrel sample is
collected for laboratory analysis; Mazzoni
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes during veraison.

of vine balance, which equates to wine balance.
Precision farming, soil mapping, irrigation
trials, and recommendations on rootstock
and clonal choices are all crucial parts of our
relationship with our growers. A wine of true
greatness grows from the ground up.

our crush pad to taste fresh Merlot juice from
their daddy’s benchland grapes. The Mazzonis,
the Millers, the Farrows too—all these
wonderful families are vital components of an
artful wine blend, even if their efforts occur
behind the scenes.

All of my training with André, and the instincts
he brought out in me, tell me to pick grapes
when they are physiologically mature, and not
a day sooner or later. As I taste through every
vineyard’s grapes in the weeks before harvest,
I start projecting what each vineyard block and
row will give us at harvest in the way of flavor,
acidity, pH and tannin structure.

During harvest, our Cellarmaster Pat Fallon
diligently monitors the pressing of the grapes—a
blend of sensory skills and technique in and of
itself. Pat samples “press cuts,” or juice samples,
from the press as it gently glides juice from the
grapes. He stops the process when he begins to
taste a bit of tar or black coffee in the juice—
characteristics we don’t want in our Cabernet
Sauvignon. It is this constant vigil to quickly
identify bitterness or overburdened tannins that
guard our wine against the intrusion of excess.

The vintage’s blend really starts coming together
in my head. By constantly sampling, I get a clear
picture of how much of the grapes’ natural
acidity will remain after fermentation, as well
as the amount and quality of the tannins. I have
a pretty good idea in advance which vineyard
lots will earn a spot in the final master blend of
Jordan we bottle, based not only on observation
of the vines’ development during the growing
season, but also on past performance of the
vineyards.
Through every season, we are constantly
reminded of the role family plays in winegrowing. Alex Vyborny and his son, Ben,
harvest hillside Cabernet grapes alongside their
crews. Bret Munselles’ young daughters visit

Once the grapes are pressed and moved to tanks
and barrels for fermentation, the lots are kept
separate and tasted regularly by me, assistant
winemakers Maggie Kruse and Ronald Du
Preez, Pat Fallon and enologist John Duckett.
This team participates in purely hedonic tastings
in November of the young wine lots from that
year’s harvest. We evaluate only on pleasure,
giving each glass an A, B or C grade. The lots
are tasted after malolactic fermentation is
completed and most of the carbon dioxide has
blown off. The wine characters are completely
bared without anything to hide behind. If there
is something negative in the wine’s quality,
it will be exposed. In most years, I purchase
approximately 10 percent more fruit than I
think we will need, as a cushion against quality
variances. If there is a mediocre tank of wine,
it is declassified and sold to the bulk market.
We don’t spend any more time on a wine that
does not meet Jordan quality standards.
Jordan’s customers seek subtle pleasure in the
wines, and if our team of tasters identifies lots
that delight their senses, they will be in the final
blend. If we’re laughing, smiling and tickled
with a wine in our glasses, that will likely be
the reaction of the consumer. It is here where we
identify those heightened aromas, flavors and
textures that will reward the palate with images
of Bacchus dancing with unbridled mirth.
Wine elicits a totally tactile response. The soul
of man and woman is the senses, and wine
stimulates them. When wine is at the dinner
table, all senses are alive. We smell the butter,
oregano and thyme of a dish, then pop the cork
on a wine—and the audible quality is, “Oh,
boy!” We start to anticipate the wine, saying to
ourselves, “I can’t wait for this glass of wine.”
The majority of all wine is consumed with food;
take that away, and half the pleasure is missing.
Balanced wines are sure bets to be compatible
with food.

6


http://blog.jordanwinery.com/2009/12/creating-the-jordan-cabernet-sauvignon-barrel-blend/ http://blog.jordanwinery.com/2011/10/harvest-report-2011-rain-delays-and-racing-to-the-finish/ http://blog.jordanwinery.com/2011/10/harvest-report-2011-rain-delays-and-racing-to-the-finish/

Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012

Contents
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Cover1
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Contents
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 3
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 4
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 5
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 6
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 7
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 8
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 9
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 10
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 11
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 12
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 13
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 14
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 15
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 16
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 17
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 18
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 19
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 20
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 21
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 22
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 23
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 24
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 25
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 26
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 27
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 28
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 29
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 30
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Cover3
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Cover4
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