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Wine Gems

Founder and CEO Judy Jordan is a second-generation vintner from the Jordan Winery and family. And her father Tom Jordan served as her mentor. “I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful father who helped me to start my own career and who continues to share his knowledge of the wine business. His entrepreneurial passion is inspiring!” Veteran Sonoma winemaker George Bursick serves as vice president of winemaking and produces site specific, cool climate Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and sparkling wines.


“I joined J in 2006 with a mission to produce cool-climate, site-specific Pinot Noirs with an uncompromised approach,” Bursick explains. “To produce truly memorable, iconic wines a winemaker must do things that his peers are not willing to do.” Since completing his Masters thesis at U.C. Davis in the field of Wine Sensory Evaluation, Bursick’s career has been driven by a passion for creating wines with a supple mouthfeel (increased wine body). He employs his understanding of wine texture in the development of innovative techniques to create texture.

From the Pinot Noir portfolio is J 2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($38). This elegant, Burgundian style wine is 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes, sourced from J Estate Vineyards and selected Russian River Valley appellation growers. The grapes are picked at night to preserve freshness. The wine is aged for 12 months in small French oak barrels, 30 percent of which are new. And it was blended from more than 80 individual Pinot Noir variables from more than 13 clones and numerous microclimates just before bottling to allow each lot to develop to its fullest expression before final blending decisions were made. Aromas of red cherry, damp earth, mushrooms, and liquorice lead to flavors of cherry, raspberry, strawberry and cola. Those who typically find Pinots too wimpy and not big enough for their palate—myself included—should try this one. It is a full-bodied Pinot and has 14.3% alcohol.

When it comes to sparkling wines I want a wine that is bright, balanced and beautiful with delicate, persistent effervescence and vibrant, crisp acidity. The signature J 1999 Vintage Brut—made in the methode champenoise style—has it all. The 1999 growing season was near perfection for Northern California. And it shows in this bottle of bubbly. Complex aromas of toasted almond, pear and citrus tickle my nose and lead to a creamy mouth-feel and flavors of apple, pear, citrus, honeysuckle, grapefruit and vanilla cream. Good to the last drop, the bubbles in the last glass from the bottle dance with the same intensity as the first.


The J 2006 Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($40) offers aromas of apples, caramel, and orange, which lead to flavors of apple, oak, pineapple and lemon. This opulent Chardonnay will please Chardonnay fans and those who are not—including me. J is all you need to know about wine for both holiday celebrations and gift giving.

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