Wine of the Week 23: Jordan Dry Rosé 2023

Jordan Rose

Pretty in pink… an elegant wine with plummy depths.

With slopes facing all points of the compass, Jordan winemaker Sjaak Nelson has a hugely varied palette to work with in both vineyard and cellar. The embracing curve of Stellenbosch Kloof provides cooler south- and east-facing slopes for aromatic white varietals, while just over the ridge (where fish eagles soar between the farm dams) slopes cascade westward towards Cape Town and Table Mountain for fuller-bodied reds. The hills are also perfectly angled to catch refreshing maritime breezes and early morning mists from both False Bay and Table Bay, creating a meso-climate that is at least three degrees cooler than inland Stellenbosch, and giving Jordan a unique terroir to play with.

A merlot-driven blend

Jordan Rose Winemaker

For the 2023 vintage of the Jordan Dry Rosé, Sjaak has made full use of this versatility. “We selected the early ripening merlot block specifically as it gives a fruit-forward flavour profile,” he says. “While the syrah is located on a cool slope and is a slow-ripening block. It reaches phenolic ripeness at 22 Brix which gives a naturally lower alcohol.”

The intention for this new addition to the cellar (it replaces their previous Chameleon Rosé) is to go for a wine that is lower in alcohol, but of higher quality. “The current trend in the market is for a lighter coloured, more serious style rosé. We’ve changed to a merlot-driven blend and opted for less time on the skin, which means we get a lighter but dryer Provençal-style rosé.”

Sjaak has chosen the varietals with care, using 70% merlot and 30% shiraz. He harvested whole bunches in the cool early mornings of February, using free run juice and very gentle pressing so as not to extract too much colour. “Our intention is to capture the crunchy, summer plum characters from the merlot grapes and the spiced berry fruit from the shiraz, while avoiding any sweet, confected characters,” says Sjaak. “Merlot also gives the wine flavours of strawberry and raspberry. Syrah adds to the fullness on the mid-palate and gives a slightly lighter pink hue.”

Pretty in pink

Jordan Rose 2023 Bottle

The new bottle is captivatingly pretty: seductively curved, clear glass revealing the gentle blush rose of the wine. The label features an Amaryllis belladonna or March Lily, a delicately pink-hued indigenous South African flower, that graces the landscape with its distinct fragrance around March. It’s under cork, and the clear bottle means it’s easy to recycle, all part of Jordan’s sustainability focus.

Jordan Dry Rosé 2023

Jordan Rose Pairing

This rosé is refreshingly dry but with a satisfying plummy, almost chewy, depth that lingers long on the palate, the kind of wine that draws you outdoors to sit and watch the sky fade long after sunset, even on a school night.

Asked how he personally likes to drink it, Sjaak says, “The wine is great on its own. And goes down far too easily. It’s one of my favourites and I do enjoy it with a beautiful sunset and great friends. It does pair really well with salmon, salads, grilled vegetables and lighter meals.”
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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 22 February 2024