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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
23 Jun 2006

Jackson Family Wines, the new name for the Sonoma company owned by Jess Jackson of Kendall Jackson, has acquired Murphy-Goode, one of the county’s most reliable producers of Sauvignon Blanc and a wide range of Alexander Valley reds. The Murphy family will retain their vineyard holdings.

Founded by Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and Dave Ready in 1985, Murphy-Goode was launched with two wines: Estate Grown Fumé Blanc and Chardonnay. In the beginning, only the Murphy family ranch and the Murphy-Goode Vineyard, a joint venture between Tim and Dale, provided the grapes. Today the winery produces primarily red wines, including single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

"The purchase of Murphy-Goode is a strong fit for the Jackson family portfolio and our expanding sales organization," said Jess Jackson, founder and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines. "As a friend and neighbour in the Alexander Valley, I have watched Murphy-Goode grow over the years, producing one exceptional wine after another. We all started in this business about the same time, and we plan to continue their historic family legacy of passion and commitment to quality."

Jackson, 75 and supposedly retired, now controls more than 12,000 acres (5,000 ha) of vineyard with investments such as Arceno in Tuscany, Yangarra in Australia, Calina in Chile and Ch Lassegue in St-Emilion. With his emphasis on controlled grape supply, he has an almost European approach to fruit-sourcing – more obvious dedication to estate-grown fruit than most producers of his company’s size. Within the US alone the company sold 5 million cases in 2004, making it America’s eighth biggest wine producer, according to Wine Business Monthly. One of the most comprehensive surveys of his family’s wide-raning brands and holdings, written two years ago by Linda Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle, can be found here.

 

See tasting notes for some notes on some of Jackson’s top California releases.