The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2013

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Page 118 of 152

SPEED TASTING REPORT PANEL: Mark Sayre, Beverage Director, Four Seasons, Austin Meridith May, Publisher/Executive Editor, THE TASTING PANEL Magazine Bill Elsey, Advanced Sommelier, General Manager, Red Room Lounge, Austin (named Texas's Best Sommelier 2011 by TexSom) Nathan Prater Sommelier, Red Room Lounge, Austin , June Rodil, Sommelier and GM of Qui, Austin Devon Broglie, Master Sommelier, Wine Buyer for Whole Foods, Southwest Region Scott Ota, Sommelier from The Driskill (just voted Texas's Best Somm 2013) Guy Stout, Certified Wine Educator; Corporate Account Specialist for Glazer's Fabien Jacob, Certified Sommelier, Bohanan's, San Antonio John Roenigk, Owner, The Austin Wine Merchant REVEAL NUMBER ONE JORDAN WINERY 2009 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, ALEXANDER VALLEY ($53) W hile its Alexander property is awe-inspiring, the perception that Jordan is an estate winery is a myth. In reality, this prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay label is now vineyard- and growerdriven. "We've elevated our game," explains Lisa Mattson, who heads up communications and public relations for the Sonoma-based winery. When John Jordan took over the French-inspired brand from his father, founder Tom Jordan, in 2005, he asked long-time winemaker Rob Davis (who continues his job now in his 38th year) to make the best wine, period. "Tell me what you need," Jordan insisted, accepting the reality that being an estate winery in the '80s and '90s was not the future for the business. Achieving better quality for the same price—that was indeed the future. When phylloxera devasLisa Mattson of Jordan Winery. tated the estate's valley floor vineyards in 1996 just west of the Russian River's banks in Alexander Valley, there really was no choice but to turn to growers. Plus, Davis wanted to work with growers, sourcing fruit from Alexander Valley's benchlands and hillsides on the east side of the Russian River; these vineyards, located just east of Geyserville, have remarkable drainability and ideal calcium-magnesium ratios. As of the 2006 vintage, Jordan Cabernet has relationships with 12 growers totaling 60 vineyard blocks. "This shift to sourcing the best fruit allows us to have a style of wine we want: lower alcohol, higher acidity and the classic balance we want to achieve," Mattson points out. "And with the 2009 . . . well, we're really hitting our stride. It's a great vintage combined with a little Petit Verdot and Malbec, aged in nearly 80% French oak and two full years in the bottle." And another secret to being a modern, grower-driven winery? "Blending in a tiny bit of Mendocino Cab adds more bright cherry notes and a fine acidity in the bottle." The Panel's Notes: "This is what Bordeaux tastes like—and with the harmony of California red and black fruit integrated into some earth and eucalyptus, it makes for a great wine with superb quality." —Mark Sayre, Four Seasons, Austin "I taste restraint here, where less is more, allowing for early drinkability as well as age-ability. This is a wine that consumers and professionals can agree upon: clean, classic and elegant." —June Rodil, Qui 118  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2013 TP1213_104-148.indd 118 11/23/13 8:36 PM

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