Jordan 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Many, many oenophile upstarts in Sonoma Wine Country, both previously moneyed and not, have proclaimed that their aim is to best the wines of the classic European wine regions and make Cabernet Sauvignon that crushes the great varietals of Bordeaux.
But Jordan Vineyard & Winery, founded in 1972 by Tom and Sally Jordan, who first surveyed properties in Bordeaux proper, really does fit the mold.
They built the winery in true chateau style, for one, and the product that flows down the little Alexander Valley hill it’s set upon comes in just two flavors: a master blend each of Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
Vintages vary in quality, supply, and demand. Witness the differing prices of library vintages — they don’t just get more expensive with age. The 2007 already costs a pretty penny, retail. Must be good.
Jordan’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($72) has dusty aromas of, well, dust, and vanilla, and cedar box. Warm, mixed-berry compote holds up the fruit end of the deal, while the palate is warm, soft, with knit-together flavors and just enough of an astringent finish to bring about a sense of finality to each sip.
I’m told that the most recent release, the 2008 ($52) is more in keeping with the house style, (it’s got more pencil lead, if that’s your thing) but this easygoing Cab from one of America’s favorite restaurant wine producers is sure to bring a warm glow to the table.
Grilled Sonoma Lamb with Blackberry Sauce
From Jordan Winery
- 1 boneless lamb loin, 8-10 ounces
- 2 inches of grapevine cuttings (any fruit wood may be substituted)
- 1 cup blackberry or huckleberry juice
- 1 clove black garlic, minced (roasted garlic may be substituted)
- salt and sugar to taste
- 8 fresh blackberries, cut in half
- 20 sprigs of rosemary
- flowering thyme and berry leaves for garnish
For the Marinade
- 1 medium Maui onion
- 1 clove black garlic (roasted garlic may be substituted)
- 3 Tbsp Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 Tbsp black pepper
Preparation time: 8 hours 45 minutes
To prepare the marinade, purée the onion and garlic in a blender. Combine with Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, thyme, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Add the lamb, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Remove lamb one hour prior to grilling to bring to room temperature.
Grill lamb on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, or to an internal temperature of 130 degrees for medium rare. Remove lamb from grill and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Turn grill up to high heat and char the grapevine cuttings.
To prepare the sauce, combine grapevine cuttings, berry juice and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce by half and add salt and sugar to taste. Strain sauce to remove grapevine cuttings. Discard cuttings.
To assemble, cut the lamb into bite size cubes. Arrange a silver or stainless steel pick beginning with a blackberry, then add an herb sprig and finish with a piece of lamb.
Serve along with the sauce, topped with a dusting of thyme flowers, if available. Garnish plate with fresh berry leaves.