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1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

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Upon its release in 1980, the inaugural 1976 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was favorably compared with the great grand crus of Bordeaux because of its balance and finesse. Possessing ripe, herbal, black cherry, and currant flavors with an absence of firm tannin, the wine became recognized for its accessibility.

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“The first harvest at Jordan was also the shortest to date. Our young, dry-farmed vineyards persevered under the historic drought conditions. In a very close finish, delivery of the first grapes coincided with completion of the new winery—grape gondolas coming up the hill were passing carpenter’s trucks going down. The grapes harvested that first year were perfect for making the style of wine that Tom Jordan wanted: intensely fruity, yet soft in tannin.” — Winemaker Rob Davis

Tasting Notes

Our inaugural 1976 vintage demonstrates a rare combination of drinkability and longevity. This wine still holds merit with remarkable maturity, but the memory of its greatness is more alive than the wine itself. Fully mature dried fruit, olive, tea leaf and leather notes, showing the nuttiness of oxidation but held together by a fine line of tart cherry fruit. Mouthwatering acidity and silky smooth texture volatilize quickly. The wine continues to evolve in the glass. Very long and classic finish. We would call this wine intriguing, but like an aging athlete, it’s a bit slow out of the blocks.

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Last Tasted: April 18, 2012


1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

Harvest Dates

October 8–25, 1976


Jordan Estate and family growers


Fermented six days in stainless steel to complete yeast fermentation, followed by four weeks in large oak tanks for malolactic fermentation


Aged in 60% French and 40% American small oak barrels for 14 months and in large oak tanks for an additional six months. Bottled and aged for an additional 18 months at the winery before release.

Varietal Info

86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 1% Pinot Noir


Alexander Valley

Final Analysis

Alcohol: 12.8%; T.A.: 0.88 g/100mL; pH: 3.5; R.S.: 0.02%

Bottling Dates

July 10-September 13, 1978

Release Date

March 1, 1980

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