Tag Archives: Gary Jordan

Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase 2018 presents 44 top winemakers’ exclusive Wines!

I was invited to attend the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday evening, tasting some of the superb wines of the 44 members of the Guild, representing the best of the best of our country’s winemakers. The Auction Showcase is in preparation of the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, which takes place at Spier on Saturday 29 September. It was impossible to taste all 44 winemakers’ wines, so I have reported on those wines I tasted and the winemakers I spoke to. Talk of the Showcase was the resignation of three senior members of the Guild. 


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John Platter launches ‘My Kind of Wine’!

johnplatterbook1John Platter’s name is synonymous with the wine industry, having created the Platter’s Wine Guide 36 years ago with wife Erica. His surname is still linked to the Guide by name, even though he has sold the Guide. Launching a new book, it was obvious that it would have something to do with wine. ‘My Kind of Wine‘ is such a book, Continue reading →

FNB Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Top 10 announced at Val de Vie!

imageThe FNB Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Top 10 wines were announced over a lunch held at Val de Vie today!

Invited guests included the Top 20 Finalists for the awards, and tasting tables had been set up to allow the twenty Finalist wines to be tasted. No one knew who would make the Top 10 list.  A shelf had been set up to display all top twenty Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6 August

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Design Indaba has announced that it will eliminate the Design Indaba Expo, largely due to the large drop in attendance this year, reaching the 2009 attendance level. The venue of the Design Indaba conference will change to Artscape, and the date will move from the last weekend in February. Owner Ravi Naidoo would like to take the event to Johannesburg and Durban too, as well as internationally.

*  South Africans traveling in Europe can now access data via an Orange Holiday Continue reading →

Jordan Wines salutes Inspector Péringuey with its Chenin Blanc 2014!

Jordan Inspcector Bottale and glass Whale CottageInspector Louis Albert Péringuey was a powerful man in the 19th century, in his role as Inspector-General of Vineyards in the Cape. Yesterday Gary and Kathy Jordan of Jordan Wines paid tribute to the man who led the fight against phylloxera, and who supervised the importation of American rootstocks onto which vineyard varieties were grafted.  They have named their 2014 vintage Chenin Blanc Inspector Péringuey, ‘as Chenin was the first varietal we planted in 1983, that being the oldest block on the estate‘.

The Inspector collected museum artifacts in Africa, and moved to the Cape in 1879. He specialised in Coleoptera (the study of beetles) and prehistory.  He was a teacher, worked for the South African Museum, and also worked as the Inspector-General of Vineyards.   He has a leaf-toed gecko, an adder, and an ant named after him Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 7/8 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  SABMiller has announced that it is selling its 40% stake in Tsogo Sun Holdings, worth R11,7 billion, writes the New York Times.  The company is the second largest beer brewer in the world.  Tsogo Sun Holdings owns 90 hotels, 14 casinos and resorts, and a number of restaurants and cinemas.

*   The Cape Winemakers’ Guild members have done well in the recent Decanter Awards, winning a total of eight trophies, four international trophies and four regional ones:  Frans Smit of Spier Wines won an International Trophy for Best Rhone Varietal under £15 for the Creative Block 3, and regional trophies for Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2012 as best local Chenin Blanc, and for Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2011, Best local Single Varietal Red over £15.   Carl Schultz of Hartenberg won the International Trophy for Best Bordeaux Varietal under £15 for his Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2010; Gary Jordan of Jordan Wines won the International Trophy for Best Chardonnay for his Chardonnay 2013; and Andries Burger of Paul Cluver Estate won best International Trophy for his Sauvignon Blanc 2013.   David Nieuwoudt of Cederberg won the regional trophy for Best local Red Rhône Varietal over £15 for his Shiraz 2011, and Miles Mossop won a regional trophy for Best local Sauvignon Blanc over £15 for his Tokara Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2013. (received via media release from GC Communications)

*   Muratie is hosting a Mini Port Festival in conjunction with Juvenal Corks on 27 July, the top 10 local port producers offering Continue reading →

Jordan Winery celebrates 21st anniversary, now rolling (in) the dough at The Bakery @ Jordan!

Jordan Winery tasting in cellar Whale Cottage PortfolioJordan Wine Estate celebrated its 21 st anniversary of winemaking in its cellar last week, a surprise addition to the event, which had invited us to the launch of their deli.

Tables had been set up in the cellar, a cool space on a hot Stellenbosch day, and Gary Jordan took us through the history of Jordan, the wine farm having been in the family’s ownership for 30 years.  Gary said that they are a hands-on family, his late mom having helped to pick grapes and driving the truck.  Over the 30 year period they rebuilt the worker cottages, planted the vineyards, built their own house, built the cellar, and the restaurant, which opened in 2009 with Chef George Jardine at the helm, the same year in which they opened High Timber in London with Neleen Strauss.  Both Gary and his wife KathyJordan Winery Gary Jordan Whale Cottage Portfolio completed a Masters in Winemaking in California. The late Tony Mossop and Allan Mullins were saluted for encouraging the Jordans to do the course and in their winemaking.

Over time they have added four pockets of neighbouring land, now with a total of 165 ha, of which 105ha  is planted with vines.  The pay-off line at the end of the slide show said: ‘Celebrating 21 years of synergy between soul and soil‘. Continue reading →

Jordan The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc and The Prospector Syrah rock!

The new Jordan 2009 The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc and 2008 The Prospector Syrah were launched to about sixty invited bloggers and/or Twitterers at the Jordan Wine Estate on Monday, and the launch was celebrated with a superb outdoors three-course meal prepared by Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant chef George Jardine, of Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine. 

Gary Jordan’s background as a geologist is reflected in the names of the two new wines.   The 2009 The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc was made from a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc located on the highest and coolest spot on the wine estate.  Jordan explained the origin of the ‘Outlier’ name, by explaining that it is a phenomenon which is outside of the norm, in scientific terms.  The ‘Outlier’ predecessor vintages, previously named Jordan Blanc Fumé, have been highly regarded, and the 2008 vintage received a Gold medal and Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirit Competition, thus deserving the new ‘Outlier’ name. Geologically, an outlier is “an outcrop of rocks that is entirely surrounded by older rocks”, Jordan explained.  “The quartzite formation underlying the Sauvignon Blanc vineyard used for this wine is surrounded by older (600 million years old) mineral-rich granites”, he added. It is the barrel fermentation of this Sauvignon Blanc that puts it into ‘a different class, a true outlier’.  The cooler location of this vineyard makes the grapes ripen up to three weeks later than the other Sauvignon Blanc vineyards at Jordan.

The new 2008 The Prospector Syrah also has an interesting background.  Recently Jordan Wine Estate was one of the leading estates that put an end to plans to mine for minerals on key wine farms in the area.  The Jordan Syrah vineyards contain traces of tin as well as other minerals, going back to the gold rush of the 1800’s, and it is the minerals that give the Syrah a particular characteristic: “rich, dense, dark chocolate, black fruit and fynbos flavours interlaced with white pepper.  Barrel fermentation adds toasty nuances to the richly textured structure”.  As a Shiraz lover, The Prospector Syrah ‘spoke’ to me.

To reflect the geological theme of the new wines, small stones from the estate decorated the tables.  Each guest presentation pack had a small pouch with a very shiny stone in it, demonstrating the minerality of the soil at Jordan.

Guests were spoilt by the craft of Chef George Jardine.  Served on his trademark slate plate was a square of ‘barrel smoked pole caught yellow fin tuna, miso charred aubergine’, which was paired with the Jordan The Outlier.   I ate the starter with Chef George’s wonderful wholewheat bread, which his wife Louise generously gave me a loaf of when I asked her if she had one to sell.   The main course was a pan roasted blesbok, served with foie gras and a bourguigon garnish.  This course was served with the Jordan The Prospector.  The dessert was French imported Valrhona guanaja chocolate royaltine, which was served with Jordan Mellifera, a lovely dessert wine, and with a good foamy cappuccino. 

Kathy Jordan was a lovely table hostess, and I enjoyed the company of Allan Mullins of Woolworths, Hennie Coetzee and Maggie Mostert of Batonage blog, and a UK couple who are regular guests at High Timber, the restaurant which the Jordans co-own in London.    

Disclosure:  All guests received a gift pack of the new Jordan The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc 2009 and The Prospector Syrah 2008.

Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch.  Tel (021) 881-3441.  www.jordanwines.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Restaurant Review: ‘Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine’ an outstanding mouthful!

George Jardine is a highly respected chef, and has been a regular on the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards list.  His move to the Jordan Winery in Stellenbosch, to open the mouthful of a brand name ‘Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine’ in November last year probably cost him the Top 10 listing, but has been a welcome lifestyle change for him and his family.  The new restaurant has added substance to the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route, and to Stellenbosch taking over the Gourmet Capital crown of South Africa.

The setting of the Jordan wine estate at the end of the Stellenbosch Kloof Road is special, with lots of birdlife, and no traffic noise.  A huge dam in front of the winery and the restaurant attracts even more birds.   The parking area reflected the popularity of the restaurant, filled with cars on a Friday afternoon.   A compliment to the chef is that Hein Koegelenberg and his wife Hanlie (Rupert) of La Motte had brought some of their staff for a treat (their new Pierneef a la Motte restaurant opens in the next few days), whilst Gary Jordan (Jordan Wines owner) also had a table of eight in the restaurant.  I enjoyed chatting to both.

When I reviewed Jardine’s in Cape Town, I noted that George Jardine was not visible in that restaurant, despite marketing information which led one to believe that Jardine would be looking after his Cape Town restaurant a few days per week.   This does not seem to be the case, as Jardine is very hands-on in his restaurant at Jordan’s (one has to remain sober to get around the Jordan/Jardine brand names)!

The restaurant brand name is on the building near its entrance door (but not visible from the parking area), in silver lettering, adding a modern touch to a building that is not!  It looks functionally designed and built from outside, and this perception does not change when one is inside.   The interior is a Jardine’s Cape Town deja vu – the open plan kitchen (much bigger preparation space here though), functional interior, some paintings of pomegranates and figs, very functional kitchen counter from the customer perspective, almost old-fashioned, not particularly attractive lightwooded chairs, and modern stacking glass doors. The lovely overlay over the white tablecloth reminded me of Overture’s new tablecloths.  The glassware and cutlery is average, but I noticed David Walters’ ceramic touch in the square side plate.  The serviette seemed superwhite, of very good quality.  The waiters look neat in white shirts, black pants and black aprons.

The waiter Andrew was perfect – not pushy, not arrogant, helpful, informative, patient in answering all my questions, just disappointing when he did not e-mail the winelist on the same day, as promised (it appears he had delegated this to Jardine’s wife, who did not attend to it until I called for it).  He presented the menu on a black leather holder (similar to that of Overture, Majeka House and others I have seen recently).

The first thing I noticed on the menu was the date with a weather description “A misty 23rd July”.   One has two choices on the menu – a three-course Menu Du Jour winter special at R 180, and R220 if one has two wines – one does not have any choices on this menu.   Alternatively the three-course a la carte menu allows one to choose two dishes for R 200, and 3 courses for R225, and one has up to four choices per course.   There is little difference in value between the two options, and therefore I ordered from the a la carte menu.

The winelist is cute and neat, a small square size, bound in a black leather cover, and each page has a quotation relating to wine on it.  Corkage is indicated at R50, and only one bottle is allowed.  The winelist is introduced as follows: This is a selection of wines we enjoy. Each bottle is full of love, passion and a story and if you listen carefully with your taste buds some part of that story may show, explaining terroir, slopes, altitude, climate and other interesting details. A wine however is not made by one person alone, much like the food you are about to enjoy. Thousands of people from farms, most of which can be seen from where you are sitting, have had an effort in making your wine – whether that is planting, pruning, squashing or bottling it. Please enjoy our effort in presenting their effort.”

The wine range contains a mix of Jordan and other wines, and the price band is such that it offers an affordable wine for every pocket.  Wines-by-the-glass are surprisingly affordable, a glass of Chameleon (a Jordan brand) Rose’ costing R25, and a glass of Jordan Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mellifera does not cost more than R40.  White wine bottle prices start at R90 for a Chameleon Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay, peaking at R700 for a Jordan CWG Auction Reserve Chardonnay.  De Waal Pinotage costs R85, a Jordan Sophia R963.   While the winelist shows vintages, it does not describe any of the wines. I ordered a glass of Jordan Syrah 2006, which was very smooth, smoky and full-bodied, reminding me of a shiraz made the old-fashioned traditional way.

The bread plate was the most creative I have ever seen, refreshingly different, and reflects that Jardine is an ardent bread baker.   The square bread plate had a bowl of aoili, a block of farm butter, crisp strips made from sweet potatoes, and a breadstick made from vetkoek dough.   It wasn’t just the individual items that looked amazing, but the way in which they were presented made it look like a course in itself.

What I found interesting, having been at Jardine’s in Cape Town where “organised chaos” seemed to dictate food presentation, is that Jardine is very angular, his food presented in square containers.  The starter, for example, was presented on a black slate tile (I remember slate at Jardine’s in Cape Town for the cheese platter) and this was set inside a square glass container, with a serviette neatly placed between the two containers, making its presentation look very smart.

The duck liver parfait starter, with a confit duck bonbon rolled in sesame seeds, served with prune and celeriac chantilly and tiny slices of toasted brioche, was melt in the mouth (the bonbon had been left off the plate by mistake initially).  Other starter options were Saldanha Bay mussels, pan fried west coast mackerel, and hand rolled fettuccini.   The main course arrived after about a 45 minute wait, which seemed long, in that I had run out of questions to ask, been to the bathroom, and read all my Twitter updates.  My main course intrigued me, in that it was not any old pork, but “Penny Verburg’s suckling pig roasted”, which was served with braised cavolo nero (a type of black cabbage), parsnip and gremolata.  Penny is the wife of Botriver-based Luddite winemaker Neels Verburg, and she has a good hand with organic pig rearing, Andrew told me.  The pork was thinly sliced, and every now and again one had a bite of the thinnest pieces of crackling, giving good mouthfeel as well as taste. Other starter choices were Chalmar ribeye, hake, and gnocchi.   I felt that I had hit the jackpot in both choices, they were so outstanding.   I didn’t have any dessert, but I could have chosen between chocolate souffle, an interesting sounding baked Pimm’s creme catalan (just saw a very similar dessert on the La Colombe menu), or a cheese board.

The Menu du Jour was Vichyssoise with a warm salad of sauteed tongue, gnocchi and gremolata; braised veal brisket; and chocolate hot pot with vanilla ice cream and praline.

I will go back to Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, on a summery day, so that I can sit outside, and try more of Jardine’s creations.   It is a pity that Jardine is so hands-on that he does not allow himself to leave the kitchen at all to greet his customers, a contradiction as he is visible to all diners, but he makes no eye contact, and barely responded when I thanked him for the lovely lunch when I left.

Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Jordan Winery, Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Stellenbosch.  Tel (021) 881-3612.  www.jordanrestaurant.co.za (The website is not operational.  Surprisingly, no information about the restaurant is available on the Jordan Wines’ website www.jordanwines.com ). Open for lunch Wednesdays – Sundays, and on Thursday and Friday evenings for dinner.   On the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com