Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Celebration of Jordan wines in Woolworths at Jardine on Jordan

A rare sunny winter day in the winelands. We gathered outside the restaurant. Members of the media and PR enjoy a welcoming glass of Sur Lie Chardonnay and the sunshine.
Emanuel Mlotsha and Benedict Sithole, two of our friendly and efficient servers
The Exclusive selection unwooded Chardonnay  has  golden delicious apples on the nose and crisp dry green apples on its multi-layered palate with a distinct marmalade end.
Juanita Jolly, Maggie Mostert and Louise Genis enjoying the wine, the sun and the landscape
The menu for the lunch
Our rustic hors d’oeuvre was the kitchen’s freshly baked bread,  parsley butter, cauliflower salad, tiny roasted baby tomatoes with a lot of wonderful garlic slices and chives and some rich aioli.
Tom Orpen, sales and marketing manager for Jordan, Lynne, Alan Mullins CWM, wine consultant to Woolworths, and Cathryn Henderson, Editor of Classic Wine Magazine discuss the wines and the industry
Next we compared the Jordan  2004 Chardonnay and the 2012  ‘Specially for Woolworths’ lightly wooded Chardonnay which were served with the starter.
The starter. What a beautifully presented plate. On a broad bean purée base, a coin of buffalo mozzarella with chewy and intense grilled baby fennel, fresh broad beans, orange cream, and winter herbs: baby nasturtium leaves, sorrel leaves and flowers, chickweed, jasmine blossoms, and a sprinkling of crisp beef ‘kaaiings’ or crackling.  Each one of these flavours appeared in the wine and as a whole the dish was intense, sharp, citrusy, herbal and delicious
Co-owner/winemaker Gary Jordan tells us about the wines and the relationship with Woolworths
Woolworths’ wine buyer Ivan Oertle tells us about the Exclusive for Woolworths history
Chef George Jardine tells us about the food and how they did the wine pairing
The next course was a fillet of East Coast hake wrapped in crisp pancetta, tender red wine braised octopus circles, which some of us first thought were scallops, in a rich smoked marrow jus topped with watercress. This was served with two Jordan Merlots.  The very good value No Added Sulphur 2012 Merlot (R59.95) and the Woolworths Exclusive Selection Merlot 2010 (R99.95) and it had a remarkable effect on both wines. It amplified the smoke on the first wine and softened and enriched its slightly sharp acidity. And it brought out and enhanced the rich flavours of the cherries and mulberry fruit on the second wine. 
The next course of Confit duck leg with porcini boulangère (translation: cooked with sliced onions in a casserole) sauce, poached turnip purée and marinated sultanas, was the best duck confit we have had since France. Crisp skin, soft flesh falling off the bones, counterpointed by the mushroom jus and the sweetness of the sultanas.  The plate was dressed with chickweed, which is a weed we will be foraging for from now on. Served with two versions of  Jordan Cobbler's Hill Bordeaux blend: the Jordan 2004 and the Jordan Exclusively for Woolworths 2010 (R210.95).
These wines are full of expensive wood on the nose with cassis, rhubarb and cherries and with some savoury notes from the addition of the Cabernet Franc. They have rich, deep fruit flavours.  The 2010, while young and needing a little more time, was especially good with the duck and, yet again, everything on the plate added to the experience of the wines. As Lynne said in a tweet, George Jardine is indeed a food alchemist.
Winemaker and co-owner Cathy Jordan tells us a little more about the wines and how they did the pairings
To finish the meal, we were served a selection of great local cheeses from their cheese room with home-made jams. This was partnered with the richly sweet and elegant Jordan Mellifera NLH
Job well done, Chef George Jardine on his way home to his family.  Do go and sample his food, Jordan’s wines and enjoy that amazing view from the restaurant.

© John and Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013
  
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