Jordan Cobblers Hill 2001 vs. Jordan CWG Sophia 2002
By Christian Eedes, 27 October 2010
Fiona McDonald came around for supper last night and when two former Wine magazine editors get together, it’s only fitting that some decent bottles get opened. She brought a bottle of Jordan Cape Winemakers Guild Sophia 2002 which she acquired at the 2004 auction when normal wine lovers could still afford to hold a bidding paddle aloft (average price of Sophia 2002 was R208 a bottle while that of the 2007 at the 2009 auction was R546); I was able to match it with a bottle of Jordan Cobblers Hill 2001, which originally sold for R165 a bottle.
The wines proved fine drinking although in a very modern idiom, winemaking duo Gary and Kathy Jordan having studied at UC Davis. The Cobblers Hill 2001 is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and the wine spent 22 months in French oak, 100% new; 15% abv.
Sophia 2002, meanwhile, is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, the blend drawn from the best Cobblers Hill barrels and a reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine spent 26 months in French oak, 100% new and abv is again 15%.
Both were big and rich as might be expected from the above. The Cobblers Hill 2001 showed dark fruit, chocolate and a hint of mint with fine, soft tannins; the Sophia 2002 was even more plush, sweet fruited and possessing extremely smooth tannins.
I ever so slightly preferred the Cobblers Hill 2001 to the Sophia 2002 on account of it having more complexity and balance but whether that was because 2001 was a better vintage to 2002, or because the 2002 was just a touch overdone (as CWG wines can tend to be), I’m not sure. To be hyper-critical, both wines lacked a little finesse: ten years ago, Jordan was one of the producers that lead the way in terms of moving away from red wines that showed under-ripe character but the way forward is surely to get the same fruit expression without quite so much power and weight.