Waterford The Jem 2015

By , 26 March 2021

The Jem, the apex wine from Stellenbosch property Waterford in Stellenbosch, is based on the intriguing proposition of using as many different varieties as possible to unlock the truth of its terroir rather than using any pre-existing template, be that “Bordeaux”, “Rhône” or whatever.

The 2015 vintage is a triumph. Consisting of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Shiraz, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Sangiovese and 3% Barbera, it was matured for 22 months in 225-litre French oak barrels, 33% new.

The nose shows red and black berries, flowers, herbs, pencil shavings and spice while the palate is pure, fresh, layered and long. Great structure in the sense that fruit, acidity and fine tannins combine seamlessly. Wonderfully subtle and nuanced, those eight different component varieties as grown on this particular site making for a whole that is very much more than the sum of its parts. Still very youthful and should mature with benefit for many years to come. Price: R1950 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

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