1978 was the last year of a drought in California. The vines were stressed as were just about everything living in California then. A massive fast-track water pipe project that took up lanes of the Richmond Bridge saved Marin from drying up. Times were tough but when that vintage’s bottles were opened starting about 1980 we realized that the Cabs were real treasures.
I especially like the Cabs from the Alexander Valley and around Gilroy and bought cases of them. Yes, in them thar days you could afford a case of Jordan or Silver Oak Cab and still have money left over. There were no tasting fees even at Silver Oak. It all existed in a galaxy far, far away.
I think the last time I had Jordan’s 1978 Cab was in a hot tub high above Napa Valley in the mid-1980′s. David (David’s Jewelers in St. Helena) and I crawled under his house and found a broken case of Jordan 1978 Cab. The bottles were lying in the dirt and scattered about. It was more of an archeological scene. We headed to the hot tub to share it with our naked wives.
I noticed Jordan on Twitter last fall (@jordanwinery) and asked if they had an old bottle of their fabulous 1978 Alexander Cabernet laying around. They still have a small stash of magnums in their library collection and had one left available for 2009. $400. Ugh, but I wanted to share it with my wife. She has heard me bragging about Jordan 78 Cab for 15 years and she needed to try it. I drove up to Jordan and bought it.
Our engagement anniversary is more special to us than our two weddings (Vladivostok, Russia and Anchorage, Alaska). I proposed to Katya in front of the Parthenon in Athens then taught her how to sail through the Greek Islands on a charted boat for a week. That’s another wine story but back to Jordan.
For our 15th engagement anniversary on April 15 this year (special date, I was a CPA) we decided to open our precious bottle of 78 Cab. Katya brought home a Greek dinner from a local restaurant and we sipped the Jordan Cab with it. The old spicy Cab was still there, beautifully preserved, but the tannins were softer.
We tasted the wine for the next three days and it was wonderful each time. I injected argon inert gas into the bottle each day and that worked very well. There was no sign of oxidation.
I’m telling this story because it is a decent story. DO NOT BUY ALL OF JORDAN’S 1978 Cab and leave none for me! Try some other years or just dream but don’t act. Get it?