April 2, 2014 | by Rob Davis

“European winemaking is a history of empirical experience.” Those were the words André Tchelistcheff, the great wine guru, once said to me while we were driving to visit a winery in France. As our 39th growing season begins here in Sonoma County, I realize just how much I agree with his observation. Our winemaking skills have grown and developed, thanks to lessons learned over the span of four decades.

April 1 marks the release of our newest vintages–2010 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Jordan Chardonnay–which are only available to Jordan Estate Rewards members and on our website until the national release in May.

So many things contributed to the crafting of the 2010 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: the continued pursuit of ideal vineyard sites, the combined experience of our team, John Jordan’s challenge to make every vintage better than the last, and the list goes on. The celebration of getting the grapes into the winery before a memorable downpour of rain coincided with our local San Francisco Giants winning the World Series. (Many of our customers know that I’m a life-long San Francisco Giants fan.) When the Giants pitcher, Brian Wilson, held out his arms to capture the joy of winning a championship with a strike out, our winemaking team mimicked the same joy when our last grape hit the hopper, the day before the rains began. 2010 is such a memorable vintage for me because we overcame the odds and curveballs Mother Nature threw us—like a great Major League team would.

With two years of bottle age under its cap, the 2010 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon ($53) teems with black fruits that just jump out of the glass. The structure is so beautifully balanced from the entry of the wine to the palate to finish that the fruit expressions are seamless. When tasting the final blend before bottling, John Jordan said, “This is the best Cabernet I have tasted from Jordan.” Now that is tall praise! Ben Pearson of Bottle Barn said the same thing when John and I appeared on KSRO radio last Wednesday afternoon. 2010 really is the wine we’ve dreamed about making for the last eight years. View tasting notes on our website and watch our release video above.

The 2012 growing season—the most memorable to date for me—surprisingly coincided with another Giants World Series. Certainly the chances of such a perfect year just don’t come along as often as I would like. But honestly, I have never seen better fruit. From hopper to press to barrel, our senses were overwhelmed with such a cornucopia of aromas and flavors. Our 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay winemaking has always been inspired by the great wines of Burgundy: crisp apple aroma, firm acidity and mineral accents. The expressions of our newly released 2012 Jordan Chardonnay ($30) will make even the most sophisticated sommelier nod at the similar style of wine and question its geography. View tasting notes on our website and watch our release video above.

We hope you agree that our wine offerings continue to delight the palate. John’s insistence on making improvements every year is a great inspiration for our winemaking team— much like his father’s insistence, back when the winery was founded in the 1970s, to provide wines that offer pleasure and refinement to all wine enthusiasts. Our new releases of 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Chardonnay truly merit the approval of father and son.

And as the spring of 2014 unfolds, maybe the start of another World Series is taking root!