April 30, 2023 | by Maggie Kruse

The 2021 vintage was a welcome return to normalcy after back-to-back years filled with next-level challenges. Chardonnay from this exceptional vintage is showing intense fruit flavors, beautiful brightness and exquisite structure. Simply put: This was a stunner of a year.

Here are four factors that allowed Jordan to craft beautiful chardonnay in 2021.

aerial view of Jordan Vineyard and Winery Estate

Winemakers Have Become Experts In Handling Drought

Though the vintage did have its obstacles, including drought, the region’s winemakers have become experts in handling those recurring challenges with no negative impacts to the wine. In fact, the drought had positive effects on the 2021 chardonnay through added fruit concentration.

Jordan Winery Estate Petit Verdot grape flowersJordan Winery Estate Petit Verdot grape flowersJordan Winery Estate Petit Verdot grape flowers

Great Weather Prevailed From Spring Through Fall

The timing of winter rainfall was mainly concentrated in December and January, but great spring weather led to a balanced bud break and healthy shoot growth. As summer faded into fall, vineyards experienced mild temperatures that allowed for beautiful fruit development.

chardonnay wine pouring into a wine glass with four wine bottles behind it on a table near window

Jordan Created Its First Chardonnay ‘Super Blend’

In 2021, Jordan Winemaker Maggie Kruse set out to produce Jordan’s first Chardonnay Super Blend—a “best-of-the-best” culmination of the team’s favorite grower and estate vineyard blocks. To add layers of aroma, flavor and texture to the wine, they sought out cooler-climate vineyards that would contribute more bright acidity, minerality and citrus flavors; selected grape clones with the ideal blend of sweetness, acidity and flavor; and complemented French oak barrels with a concrete egg vessel to enhance the wine’s texture and mineral character without added oak influence. The team kept each block separate to independently assess their sensory characteristics, and then selected the best components for aging in a combination of concrete egg, French oak and stainless steel.

chardonnay grape clusters hanging on vineyard

Picking Began at Optimal Ripeness

During the previous vintage, there were times when the Jordan team had to pick a few days ahead of schedule to keep the wines safe from wildfire smoke. In 2021, they were able to pick when the fruit tasted delicious and was at its optimal ripeness.