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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MICHAEL GREENíS WINE NOTES #147 (article first published : 2006-03-18)

The Jordan Winery at Stellenbosch has produced consistently fine wines since its first bottling 13 years ago. Owned by the family who made the well-known Jordan shoes, this cellar now turns out 65,000 cases of wine a year, roughly half and half red and white. The range includes about 20 wines. I have tried several of them and I have never been disappointed.

The latest addition, in a bottle with a redesigned label, is the 2005 Jordan Sauvignon Blanc. The winery has for some years had a reputation for producing excellent sauvignons, and this wine maintains the standard. Gary Jordan, owner and winemaker, says that despite very dry conditions in the late summer of last year the 2005 grape harvest was probably the best to date of the cellarís 13 vintages. Furthermore, some of the grapes that went into this vintage came from a new vineyard, adding intensity and a complex fruit structure that blended well with the grapes from the wineryís older sauvignon blanc vineyards.

The new vineyard was planted on seven hectares bought by the Jordan family from a neighbouring farm eight years ago. At 410 metres above sea level it is the highest vineyard on the farm and overlooks both False Bay and Table Bay. Gary Jordan says this steep, south-facing slope, with cool ocean breezes and well-drained clay-loam soil, is an ideal site for sauvignon blanc.

So much for the background. The wine itself is outstanding, full-flavoured without being too sharp and aggressive. It has the typical gooseberry/green fig/grassy character of sauvignon blanc and has a long lingering finish on the palate. It would go well with almost any food or indeed by itself. Alcohol content is 13 percent.

The retail price of this wine is about R50. Not cheap, but good value, considering the quality.

The Jordan Winery has on-site tastings and sales and is worth a visit if you are in the Western Cape. Phone 021 881 3441.

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The 32nd Nederburg wine auction, to be held at Paarl on April 7 and 8, has a new auctioneer, Stephan Welz. He takes over from Patrick Grubb, who conducted the auction for 31 years.

Stephan Welz, aged 63, is a son of the celebrated artist Jean Welz. Stephan is well known as an antique and fine art auctioneer, has conducted other wine sales, and is an authority on Cape silver and on Africana books and maps.

He will also be the auctioneer at the charity action at Nederburg on April 9. Members of the public can attend and are provided with a splendid lunch, wines and a fashion show. Tickets are R500 each from Computicket and the proceeds go to charity. More information at www.computicket.com or www.nederburg.co.za




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