Jordan Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2014

February 12, 2015
by Christian Eedes
in What I Drank Last Night
with 1 Comment
Not your average "dry white".

Not your average “dry white”.

Stellenbosch property Jordan has renamed its Barrrel Fermented Chenin Blanc after Louis Péringuey, the 19th Century Inspector-General of Vineyards in the Cape. He was the first to identify Phylloxera and was involved in the importing of American rootstocks capable of resisting the destructive louse.

“He basically saved the Cape’s vineyards but has become a forgotten figure,” says the property’s owner and cellarmaster Gary Jordan. You can’t help feeling however that it’s all a bit arcane. “Yes,” says Jordan. “If people can’t take the time to find out who Péringuey was then this is probably not the wine for them.”

Grapes come from a vineyard planted in 1982 planted to the Montpellier clone, not widely in favour across South Africa because of both low yields in the vineyard and low juice recovery but prized for making particularly flavourful wine. Half the wine is tank-fermented and half in 228-litre barrels, second- and third-fill, maturation lasting eight months.

The 2013 was damn smart (see here) and I think the 2014 is even better, if a bit more intellectual. Lime and peach on the nose, while the palate shows wonderful fruit purity and lovely line of acidity. It has an abv of 13.5% compared to 14% in the case of the 2013 and is that bit more elegant and refined as a result. Cellar door price: R90 a bottle.

 Score: 93/100.

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One Comment

  1. Tim JamesFebruary 13, 2015 at 10:20 pmReply

    A cherished minor bit of knowledge I have is that phylloxera in the Cape was, in fact, first noticed by another Frenchman – I don’t know his name, but he was the French Consul, in fact. Presumably he was aware from France of what a phylloxerised vineyard looked like, and he recognised one in Mowbray, now a suburb of Cape Town, in early 1886. But I dare say that doesn’t count as “identified” in the scientific sense used by the Jordans in naming their wine. According to the governmental Phylloxera Commission of that year, inspection (under the aegis of the Inspector of Vineyards) verified other infestations in Peninsula vineyards, and, by 30 March 1886, 144 vineyards had been examined in the Peninsula and Stellenbosch, of which 11 showed evidence of phylloxera damage. From when numbers grew and grew, of course.

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