Today we went The Whole Nine Yards!
Over the years, one particular south-facing block of chardonnay has always out-performed all the others at Jordan. The geology of the soil is different and although this vineyard, like many of our other vineyards, is also situated on 600 million year old granite, there is a geological fault running right through it with white quartzite pebbles demarcating the break from one Chardonnay vineyard to the next.
The Jordan Chardonnay has always been rated one of the top South African chardonnays, yet Kathy and I knew that we could do better. From 2002 we decided to do a separate chardonnay bottling from this extraordinary single vineyard site. The day afterwards, I was invited to do a tasting at one of Richard Branson’s game lodges, so took along a bottle of this as yet unnamed wine with me. During the tasting, I explained to all the guests that it was made from our best block of Chardonnay at Jordan and spent a longer time in 100% new French oak than our usual Jordan Chardonnay. Before I could say any more, one of the guests piped up that it sounded like we went ‘the whole nine yards’ to make this wine!
“The Whole Nine Yards” I said to myself –“that sounds like a very apt name for this special wine”, so when Kathy met me at Cape Town airport the next day, I told her the story, expecting her to be excited. “Huh”, she snorted – “I’d much rather have made the wine with Bruce Willis” she said, laughing. (In case you didn't know, Bruce Willis had starred in the movie called The Whole Nine Yards!)
Months passed by before I could get my own back: we had just received 5 stars in the John Platter guide, and one evening I found myself at the top end of Cape Town, pouring our Jordan wines at the opening of an exclusive new boutique hotel. A group of very beautiful, young tour operators walked in. One particular beauty caught my eye – she obviously didn’t know me from a bar of soap, and yet had obviously heard about the Nine Yards, as she stuck out her glass, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Oh you must be the guy with the Nine Inches!”
All I could do was chuckle, and tell her that my Nine Yards was a lot bigger!
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