J Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay 2014

Gold-yellow color; apple, lemon, spice on the nose; pear, peach, citrus, Mandarin orange on the palate.

Creamy texture, nice acidity (3.55 pH), subtle oak, nice complexity, a classy Russian River chard.

Judy Jordan—the daughter of Jordan Vineyard & Winery founder Tom Jordan—began J Vineyards & Winery in 1986 specializing in sparkling wine, but then also moved into pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris still wines. She named her initial single-vineyard pinot noir in 1994 after her first child, Nicole. The next release was named after her second child, Robert Thomas.

Today, J Vineyards encompasses more than 300 acres—one of the largest holdings in the Russian River Valley—around Healdsburg, California. In 2015, Gallo purchased her operation because, Judy explained: “the winery kept getting bigger and bigger, and it was more and more pressure with operations, and I was getting further and further away from what I particularly love, which is geology, terroir and the vineyard–because I was running a big company.”

Judy also said she sold to Gallo because it is a family-owned business that shares core values. Gallo knows how to run a big company (they are the largest family owned wine operation in the world), and fortunately how to allow wineries that were doing things right—which is why they were attractive properties—to continue to do things right.

This is delicious, elegant, higher-end chardonnay. This bottle is last vintage controlled by Judy Jordan. We hope Gallo continues in her footsteps, and we expect that to happen. $26-30

J Vineyards & Winery website

Second photo: J Winery entrance.

J Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay 2014
J Winery entrance