The whole Nine Yards indeed

Cathy and Gary Jordan are two of the leading figures in the South African and the range of wine produced at their Stellenbosh farm is regarded by those in the know to be of exceptional quality. From the great value of the Chameleon range to their premium Cobblers Hill red blend, each wine in the range is thoughtfully put together and expressive without being OTT!

The Jordan Unwooded Chardonnay is one of the wines that I remember well from when I first became interested in wine, while working at Buitenverwachting restaurant. It was a complex enough to pair with some of the dishes on the menu but of course did not have what I usually found as overpowering oak character in regular Chardonnays. I moved onto their standard Chardonnay which I continued to seek out in the years that followed, with the enjoyment of the wine being enough to help me to get over the design of the label at that time. Thankfully that has changed and the standard Jordan labels had a style makeover a couple of vintages ago.

The Nine Yards Chardonnay was one of the first of the modern South African white wines to take a bold step towards the premium end of the market, albeit not in the now fashionable Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon category that is proving popular. I remember the power and intensity of the first vintages, and not being a huge Chardonnay fan I was a bit blown away.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to taste the 2009 vintage and I share the appreciation that more¬†knowledgeable¬†and experienced writers have expressed. I don’t know if it is a slightly more restrained approach from the winemakers or a bit of evolution in my own palate (I suspect a bit of both is true) but the 2009 is beautifully integrated and complex, with red apple acidity and freshness balanced by a whack of leesy vanilla and oak.

The last Jordan experience that I had before coming to London was dinner at George Jardine’s restaurant on an exquisite evening on the farm. I think a trip to their London restaurant High Timber and bottle of Nine Yards should be in my future plans!

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