April 3, 2017 | by Lisa Mattson
One of the hallmarks of a collectible is its ability to stand the test of time, growing in pleasure and value through the decades. These products of age have an appreciation and worth. Each should be held until just the right moment when its history is ready to be told.
A wine collector’s greatest reward is the hedonistic taste of an old cabernet sauvignon, crafted with the structure to age exquisitely. But wines built to endure require a long-term investment. Do you have the cellar space, money and patience to hold onto a young cabernet sauvignon, Bordeaux or Burgundy for years before opening it? Many wine aficionados do, and we appreciate their devotion to acquiring and cellaring Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons for decades. Personally, I’ve worked in the wine business 20 years, and the oldest bottle of wine in my cellar is a 2005 Saint-Émilion—a Christmas gift from four years ago. Purchasing young wines to cellar has never been a priority for me. I’ve shopped for old wines on winebid.com but have been burned by spoiled bottles that were stored poorly.
Luckily, John Jordan has made drinking a perfectly aged cabernet sauvignon without the wait easier for all of us with the introduction of the Jordan Library Trust Collection. Every Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon ages for two years in bottle before release, and although we could sell the entire stock at one time, John reserves a sizeable portion of each vintage for extended aging of five years or more under controlled temperature and humidity conditions in the winery’s cellars in Healdsburg. At Jordan, it is of the utmost importance to maintain a deep and diverse collection of cabernet sauvignon library vintages that will continue to showcase Jordan’s commitment to wines of balance for years to come. These bottles comprise the Jordan Library Trust. Consider it a cellar you can dip into anytime without the upfront costs of acquiring the wine at time of release.
Select sommeliers and wine buyers receive exclusive access to this carefully aged vintage collection each spring, which includes standard-size bottles, magnums, double magnums and imperials. Restaurants are encouraged to mix and match vintages to build their own Jordan Library, add more vintage depth to a wine list or create a promotional feature. Because Jordan maintains one of the most extensive collections of aged cabernet sauvignon in California, our online store offers all wine lovers convenient shopping of vintages up to about 15 years old. (Three of the vintages are offered as part of a vertical collection in wood box, but all can be purchased individually.) Consumers are encouraged to contact us for limited availability of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon vintages from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Each winter, Winemaker Rob Davis and his staff handpick the vintages and formats suitable for this exclusive allocation. The six vintages selected for this year’s Jordan Library Trust are included below with updated notes from the winemaking staff’s last tasting session.
2017 LIBRARY TRUST OFFERING
Delicate aromas of blueberry compote, rose petal and tobacco. The palate exudes flavors of red currant, dried cherry, and blackberry with a hint of vanilla and coconut from oak aging. Round tannins balance and support this medium-bodied wine, which will continue to age gracefully until 2020 in 750mL sized bottles and 2028 in 1.5L bottles.
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
64% French oak and 36% American oak barrels for 12 months; 33% new (67% French, 33% American)
Enticing aromas of black plum and currant in the glass open to flavors of tobacco, milk chocolate and vanilla. Soft, round tannins and structured acidity create a velvety texture on the mid-palate, transitioning into a long and memorable finish. Graceful bottle aging has enhanced this balanced and approachable Cabernet Sauvignon worthy of cellaring through 2021 in 750mL bottles and 2028 in 1.5L magnum bottles.
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19.5% Merlot, 4.5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
67% French oak and 32% American oak barrels for 12 months; 33% new (68% French, 32% American)
Touted as one of the best vintages on record in Northern California, this wine exudes beautiful, dense, blackberry aromas that echo through the mid-palate. Silky- woven tannins and expertly balanced acid are accented by notes of vanilla bean and cedar box. Drink the 750mL format now or cellar through 2023. Plan to enjoy 1.5L bottles by 2030.
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
70% French oak and 30% American oak barrels for 12 months; 39% new (65% French, 35% American)
Elegant aromas of crushed cherries, pomegranate and vanilla open to a soft, silky mouthfeel with flavors of rich red plum and baked blackberry. Subtle hints of nutmeg and allspice draw from well-integrated oak aging, balanced by soft fruit tannins. Enjoy the 750mL now and 1.5L bottles by 2030.
77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
76% French and 24% American oak barrels for 12 months; 31% new oak (60% French, 40% American)
Visually stunning with a deep garnet-ruby hue, showing an elegance of fruit expression, lively acidity and tannin. Flavors of boysenberry, Bing cherry and cassis are supported by oak integrated hints of baking spice and vanilla. Enjoy now or cellar the 750mL through 2024 and 1.5L bottles through 2032.
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
77% French and 23% American oak barrels for 12 months; 34% new oak (64% French, 36% American)
Aromas of blackberry, blueberry and cassis mingle with hints of violet and dark chocolate to seduce and intrigue. The palate is inviting and silky, with a vivid core of cassis that defines every sip, balanced by a backbone of acidity and a smooth tannin structure. The never-ending, layered finish makes it enjoyable now or cellarworthy for the 750mL through 2026 and 1.5L bottles through 2034.
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
74% French and 26% American oak barrels for 12 months; 39% new oak (67% French, 33% American)
Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted with artistic and stylistic techniques that emphasize effusive fruit and acidity over powerful tannin and alcohol to ensure graceful aging in bottle. Cork plays a critical role in the graceful evolution of these aging wines. To protect each bottle’s longevity, Jordan purchases only the top three percent quality level of wine corks from Portugal. Testing is so rigorous that typically only 20 percent of the original selection purchased earns its way into a Jordan bottle. Double magnums and imperials are also recorked every 20 years—toward the end of the cork’s optimal lifespan. A new, state-of-the-art bottling line with myriad qualitative benefits also preserves and protects each bottle for optimal ageability. Proper storage is also key to a red wine’s longevity.
This year, we introduced the Library Trust to customers with personalized vintage library cards in antique books selected by our staff. If you’re a member of the wine trade and received your library card, please be sure to post photos on social media with the hashtag #jordanlibrarytrust.