We left the highway, turning up a magnificently stunning driveway to our next farm. We drove approximately 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) up the driveway. The picturesque rolling hills, gardens, and old growth trees were glorious to behold. The driveway leads to two wine farms: Jordan Wine Estates and DeMorgenzon Winery. Jordan Wine Estates, not to be confused with the Jordan Vineyard & Winery of Sonoma, is a family-owned winery. Jordan Wine Estates wines are sold in the United States under the names Jardin Wines and Jordan Bradgate to avoid confusion and legal issues. Gary and Kathy Jordan have been making wines since 1993. The farm dates back over 300 years.
I tell you about Jordan Wine Estate to say that we did not go there due to time. However, the Jordan wine farm is important for reasons I promise to tell you later. We did go to DeMorgenzon Winery.
The farm itself is breathtaking. DeMorgenzon means “the morning sun,” in Afrikaans, and I could only imagine how it looks in the early morning hours. The farm rises from about 656 feet (200 meters) to nearly 1312 feet (400 meters) above sea level. The panoramic vistas allow views of Cape Town, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape Hangklip, the Hottentots Holland mountains, with the ocean as a backdrop. The farm is an artist palette of color, with purple, blue, red, and yellow wildflowers, larkspurs, and lavender. There is also a beautiful lake covered with pink and yellow waterlilies and lotus flowers.
Music influences DeMorgenzon Estate (DMZ)… literally. DMZ plays Baroque and early Classical music to its growing vines in the vineyard, in the winery and in the cellar all day. I love their selection of music. Anyone who loves Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” is good people! (Take a look at DMZ’s website (Music), and you will understand.)
We began with DMZ’s Blanc Method Cap Classique NV (unrated by Platter’s Guide – 90 Points Tim Atkin MW’s South African Report 2015) sparkling wine to cleanse our palates. This was our first time having a South African sparkling wine. It was interesting. Made with 100% Chenin Blanc grapes and 13.00% alcohol, the nose was pronounced with pineapple, toast, and floral notes. The palate was nutty and honey-filled. This was a clean, refreshing wine.
The wine was aged for five months and on the lees for a total of 11 months before the base wine was prepared for bottling. The wine was further aged in the bottle on second ferment lees for 18 months. Final dosage is done with a “Late Harvest” style of Chenin Blanc, which is fermented and aged in French oak casks.
We moved outside to the patio. Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor wafted in the background. This was going to be a great tasting. The 2017 DMZ Chardonnay (Platter’s Guide ★★★★) is made with 100.00% Chardonnay grapes. Typical of South African wines, this Chardonnay had 14.00% alcohol. There were notes of grapefruit, vanilla, and tropical fruit on the nose. The wine was clean and clear. The hue was straw to pale yellow. The mouth was replete with layered tropical fruits, grapefruit, and vanilla with pronounced minerality. The wine is aged on its lees in a combination of stainless steel and French oak barrels.
The next wine was DMZ Chenin Blanc, a 100.00% varietal (14.30% alcohol). South Africa is the world’s largest producer of Chenin Blanc, having more than 50.00% of the world’s vineyards. This wine is typical of Chenin Blancs (sometimes called “Steen” in South Africa). It is pale in color, and is dry and medium-bodied. The nose is floral and freshly cut grass, with suggestions of lime, honey and green apples. The mouthfeel lingers and is noticeably acidic. This wine is aged in a combination of stainless steel and old French oak.
We moved on to DMZ Maestro White 2015 (Platter’s Guide ★★★★☆, 92 Points Wine Enthusiast Magazine & #98 on Wine Enthusiast Top 100 List 2017, 93 Points Neal Martin for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 2016 and 95 Points Tim Atkin MW’s South Africa Report 2016).
This wine is crisp and begs to be paired with a hard French cheese and baguettes, all whilst basking lakeside with my new bride listening to Albinoni!
The Maestro White is a varietal blend of 29.00% Roussanne, 23.00% Chardonnay 22.00% Chenin Blanc 18.00% Grenache Blanc 8.00% Viognier. The alcohol content is 14.00%. There is a very striking aromatic nose showing notes of mango, orange peel and yellow stone fruits, and white flowers. This wine is a stunner!
The palate is medium-to-full-bodied, textured, and nuanced, with a crisp, clean, and long finish presenting spice, citrus. The Maestro White is creamy on the palate. A pairing with poultry and Italian white sauce would curl your toes!
The last of DMZ white wines we sampled was the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Platter’s Guide ★★★★). The Sauv Blanc is made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and has 14.00% alcohol. A pale yellow-green in color, the nose greets you with an explosion of grapefruit, fresh cut grass, and green apples. The palate erupts with lime, bell pepper, and fruit flavors, with a swift acidity and stony minerality and a lengthy finish. This wine is crisp and begs to be paired with a hard French cheese and baguettes, all whilst basking lakeside with my new bride listening to Albinoni!
(Part 4 – DeMorgonzon’s red wines and the Franschhoek appellation.)