Pro Version | USD Change Currency | Help | Mobile Site

Gary Jordan & 1862 Constancia

Gary and Cathy Jordan
© Jordan Wine Estate | Gary and Cathy Jordan
Gary Jordan runs Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch with his wife, Cathy. After studying at the UC Davis campus, the couple returned to South Africa with smuggled chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon grape cuttings in their baggage. Some of those vines provided the fruit for their Nine Yards Chardonnay, which this year won a Decanter Wine Awards international trophy.

"I was working at the lab at Davis and a wealthy American had bought two bottles from the Duke of Northumberland's cellar, so it had good provenance. He had one for a dinner party with his friends and the other we got presented with; I was in charge of the lab and had to do all the analysis on this wine.

Of course, the sophisticated machinery meant we could use 50ml of this wine and the rest we drank. We got all the people who were close to us – top professors like Roger Boulton, and people who would really appreciate the wine. (I still have every one of Roger Boulton's lectures on tape.)

I have tasted many wines when they are 10 years old and they are shot. This was from the 1860s and it was superb. It was honeyed, with nuts; we savored it. After half an hour, it went all brown because there was no sulfur left in it, but it was so memorable.

There are still single bottles around the world and some of them are in the museums, but we got to drink it."

As told to Rebecca Gibb

Fast Facts from Wine-Searcher's search engine:

1862 Constantia

  • District of origin: Cape Point, part of the wider Coastal Region of the Western Cape
  • Style: dessert wine
  • Grape: muscat
  • History: famed in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries as Vin de Constance
  • Production: devastated in the 19th century by outbreaks of phylloxera and powdery mildew.
Signup for our Free Weekly Newsletter

Write Comment

Recent Stories

Numbers were down at Bordeaux's en primeur week

2013: Bordeaux's Divided Year

2013 was a vintage from hell for Bordeaux producers, but merchants are finding a bright side.

Bordeaux's Not So Greatest Hits

Jane Anson checks out some past Bordeaux vintages that make 2013 look positively stellar.

Oregon's Five Grand Cru Sites of the Future

With Burgundians arriving in their droves, Katherine Cole considers which Oregon vineyards have the potential to be the equivalent of a Burgundy grand cru.

Napa Caught Napping in American Appellation Race

How a small town in Missouri beat Napa to become the first American Viticultural Area.

Where Now For Crimean Wine?

The future of Crimea is uncertain and the local wine industry is wondering how the unrest will affect it.

Rapper Endorsement Puts Luc Belaire Rosé on Most-Wanted List

A French sparkler has emerged from the rear to grab a spot on Wine-Searcher's list of the 100 most-searched-for wines.

Chilean Immerses His Wines in Jazz

Can music change the taste of a wine? A recent experiment seems to suggest so.

Moving Military Technology to the Winery

Military technology isn't just about blowing the other guy to smithereens – it can also help you enjoy that glass of Pinot sooner than you thought.

How Long Before Napa Cabs Top $1000 A Bottle?

With 12 Napa wines selling for at least $1000 a bottle wholesale at Premiere Napa Valley, can the same price for regular releases be far behind?

British Government Stocks Some "Jolly Good" Wines

From $7 Chilean merlot to mature first growths, the British Government's cellar has a drop for all-comers.

Slow Cooking With Rollan de By's Jean Guyon

Melt-in-your-mouth beef cheek recipe

Burgundy's Spiraling Prices: Fact and Fiction

Burgundy vintners pray to St. Vincent for a bigger crop while consumers cross their palms with silver.

Berenice Lurton's Sweet and Salty Chicken

The head of Barsac's Château Climens shares her favorite recipe.

America vs. Europe: The Organic Divide

W. Blake Gray explores the debate over organic wine between the U.S. and the European Union.

Tim Adams' Lamb Shank Special

Slow-cooked lamb and a Clare Valley red is on the menu at Tim Adams' house.

Site Map About Contact Business Advertising Social