Jordan’s Chardonnay dazzled the judges this year. We’re delighted to award this South African winery IWSC 2022 White Wine Producer Trophy, sponsored by Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.
Gary and Kathy Jordan are the husband-and-wife team behind this 164-hectare Stellenbosch wine estate. They have been making wines in this beautiful part of South Africa’s Western Cape since their first harvest in 1993.
North, south, east and west – their vineyards cover all aspects of the compass and range in height from 160 to 410 metres above sea level. The majority of plantings here are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin for the white varieties and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz for the red. Each site is harvested with a view to capturing the unique terroir given by the vineyard’s aspect, altitude and soil.
The estate is bursting with new ideas and innovations. In the past three years, the team has started experimenting with clay amphorae for their Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Assyrtiko and Syrah. “It captures the purity of fruit while preserving acidity and the perception of minerality which we enjoy in our wines,” they say.
In 2022, they introduced a new basket press to enable them to make wine from smaller parcels. In addition to the usual 225 and 228-litre barrels, they’re introducing new larger barrels to the wood regime. In the vineyard, Gary and Kathy have introduced new varietals, such as Assyrtiko, planted on a newly acquired north-facing parcel.
In contrast to the new, they are also focused on protecting the old: the estate is a member of the Old Vine Project, preserving the oldest vines which were planted decades ago. “We recognise that age in vines brings an intensity, a perceived freshness, a texture and a sense of place that our customers enjoy,” they say.
The estate performed well in this year’s IWSC awards, but it was their Chardonnay that stole the show. Their Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2020 garnered an impressive 95 points, while their Nine Yards Chardonnay 2020 scored 96 points. Nine Yards comes from an east-facing vineyard, which enjoy cooler morning sun.
The judges were struck by the “dazzlingly aromatic nose”. Overall, they deemed it to be: “A wonderful wine of superb quality.”