Yesterday the opening of The Bakery at Jordan and a celebration of 21 years of winemaking at this Stellenbosch property. Before lunch a tasting of some older wines, the first flight consisting of the 1996 and 1998 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay as well as the 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2010 Nine Yards Chardonnay; the second flight consisting of the 1993, 1995 and 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon followed by the 1999, 2001 and 2005 of Bordeaux-style red blend Cobblers Hill.
The upshot of the exercise? Predicting optimal drinking really is a mug’s game. Of the whites, the 1996 was in fine fettle while the 2002 which was showing so well when I did a similar exercise with Gary Jordan about two and a half years ago (see here) is now well past its best. For those who want some but not too much bottle maturation on their Chardonnay, the 2007 is looking lovely – deep yellow-green in colour, there’s a wonderful combination of primary citrus fruit and the hard-to-describe savoury flavours that come with time. Poised and complex, it was my wine of the day (score: 93/100).
Of the reds, there was the inevitable increase of alcohol by volume over time with the Cab 1993 at 13% to the Cobblers Hill 2005 at 15%. No point being to be too wistful about some supposed bygone era of elegance because while the last wine would definitely be too big for some, the first had an unfortunate green edge…
The stand-out red was the 2001, which had an unusually high component of Cabernet Franc at 24%, the rest of the blend consisting of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot. Red fruit to the fore, medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Whereas Cobblers Hill can appear quite slick and modern, this had a classical air about it. Score: 90/100.