Monday, November 28, 2022

Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at Hugo's Chicago

Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at Hugo's Chicago Private Dining

For a key partner and team dinner we dined at Hugo's Frog Bar on trendy Rush Street in Chicago. Hugo's is part of the Gibson's Restaurant Group, with Gibson's and Hugo's locations throughout Chicagoland including our hometown, Naperville, nearby Oak Brook, and their adjacent flagship locations on Rush Street, the center of the near north nightlife district. 

For our key business dinner we dined in Hugo's upstairs private dining room. With our grilled beefsteaks we selected this popular long time reliable crowd pleaser wine - Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Jordan is to Sonoma Alexander Valley, what the popular well known Caymus is to Napa Valley.

Since its founding by Tom and Sally Jordan in 1972, Jordan Vineyard & Winery has produced a popular reliable go-to wine that is widely available, approachable for early gratification when young, yet has the ability to age for decades or more. 

At the outset, Jordan enlisted the legendary André Tchelistcheff as consulting enologist, inspired by his work producing Frencophile style cabernet based Bordeaux blends at Napa Valley Beaulieu Vineayards. 

Tchelistcheff hired and mentored Rob Davis, who headed Jordan winemaking from the inaugural 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and inaugural 1979 Jordan Chardonnay until his retirement in 2019.

This continuity along with the tenure of but two winemakers over four decades since the winery’s inception, led to the remarkable quality and consistency of Jordan wines.

Jordan Cabernet is actually a Bordeaux-style California Cabernet Sauvignon based blend sourced from Jordan estate in northern Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley.

Upon taking ownership of their property, Tom and Sally planted more than 200 acres of vineyards on the valley floor and methodically began to produce a single wine, modeled after the first growth philosophy of the finest producers in Bordeaux. To that end, they planted only cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes.

Second-generation John Jordan took over as hands-on CEO vintner and winemaker in 2005 taking on full ownership of the winery in 2007. He carried on the legacy and heritage of Jordan Vineyard & Winery producing award-winning wines year after year making Jordan one of the top Cabernet Sauvignon brands in California.  

Jordan Sonoma County Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

The 2018 vintage harvest in Napa and Sonoma was one of the biggest and best in several years with each phase of the growing season  seeing near-perfect weather conditions. The quality of the fruit was exceptional and the harvest was about 25% to 33% above average resulting in holding prices steady for exceptional wines, providind good value QPR (quality price ratios) across the range with this label being no exception. 

Winemaker notes: "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a showstopper vintage. Its black cherry, boysenberry and black fig aromas jump out of the glass and, the wine’s smooth, rich tannins go on forever, making this a vintage that will age gracefully.'

"Rich aromas of black cherry, Mission fig and dark chocolate mingle with clove and nutmeg. The palate is filled with flavors of blackberry and boysenberry that are enveloped in silky tannins, showing complexity beyond its years. Enticing flavors of vanilla bean and hazelnut carry through a velvety richness that lingers on the finish."

This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec. It was aged 13 months in 100% French oak, 35% new and 65% one-year-old barrels with 37 total months aging.

Wilfred Wong gave this 92 points and Wine Enthusiast gave this release 90 Points. 

This was a perfect complement pairing with the wedge salad, creamed spinach, grilled beefsteak and dark chocolate gateaux.

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, complex concentrated bright vibrant blackberry and black currant fruits with cedar, bitter dark chocolate, cassis, black tea, and clove spice with bright acidity and a layer of oak on the long moderate tannin finish.  

RM 91 points.