- California, United States
The Jeanne Marie label was created by David Gordon, one of New York’s first recognized sommeliers, and the person responsible for the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine list at Manhattan’s famed Tribeca Grill restaurant. The restaurant opened in 1990 by restaurateur Drew Nieporent and actor Robert DeNiro. Gordon, who is self-taught, began learning about wine in the 1980s just as Kevin Zraly was beginning to educate America on the world of wine. At the time, there were very few non-French somms working in the city and the British-born Court of Master Sommeliers was in its infancy.
“You had to pick up a book or magazine to learn about wine,” says Gordon. There were no YouTubes or Google or extensive training programs. The list now boasts over 1800 selections including verticals of some of the most sought-after producers.
While he tasted and learned about the best wines on the planet, which included expensive Burgundies and Rhône wines, Gordon always kept the consumer top of mind. “House” Cab and Chard were big sellers at the restaurant, so he set out to meet that demand with a genuine product that would deliver consistent quality.
“I started the Jeanne Marie line as a fun, cool thing to do,” says Gordon. “There really weren't any wines associated with sommeliers at the time. Now there are many, but these were definitely among the first. I named the wine after the person I worship, my wife of 30+ years- Jeanne Marie."
In the beginning, Gordon sourced the wines from his friends in Napa and Sonoma. Producers such as Caymus, Lewis Cellars, and Miner Family provided grapes and helped with the winemaking for the early cuvées. Gordon has kept to his original promise that wines with the Jeanne Marie label will always be affordable and delicious. “People want ripe fruit and a clean taste that’s not too oaky or tannic,” he says. The wines are refreshing, they can be drunk as an aperitif before dinner or with a meal."
Wines bearing the Jeanne Marie label, much like David Gordon himself, are welcoming and unpretentious.