Thursday, May 26, 2016

An Australian Taste Trip: The Wines Of Jacob’s Creek

Array of Jacob's Creek Wines

Jacob’s Creek is Australia’s largest wine brand with more than 160 years of winemaking expertise. Do they have any new tricks up their sleeve? You’ll be surprised.

Wines From The Land Down Under

Although there have been vineyards in Australia since the 1700s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the country began capturing world attention. Today Australia is known for dynamic and cutting edge wine producers and is the seventh largest wine producing country.

Jacob’s Creek is a winery deeply rooted in the history of Australia. In 1840 William Jacob settled in Rowland Flat on the banks of a creek that later would be named for him and become world famous. Seven years later vines were planted and a legacy was begun.

We had the opportunity to taste through a spectrum of Jacob’s Creek wine and came away with some new insights. It was a multi-continental virtual tasting, with Napa winemaker Ehren Jordan and Jacob’s Creek chief winemaker Ben Bryant being joined by wine educators Jean Reily and Steve Meckiff.

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Keeping It Light

Jacob's Creek Pinot GrigioWhile the main white grape in Australia is Chardonnay, Jacob’s Creek offers a pair of fine Pinot Grigio. Jacob’s Creek wine is accessible not only in terms of taste, but price as well. We tasted the 2015 Classic Pinot Grigio (SRP $7.99) and the 2015 Two Lands Pinot Grigio (SRP $13.99).

The 2015 vintage is considered one of the best for white wine in Australia. The Classic is zesty with pure flavors of apple and pear. The Two Lands is a more complex wine with some tension between the acidity and the sweetness. It is barrel fermented with natural yeast.

Two Lands is a collaboration between Napa winemaker Jordan and Australian winemakers at Jacob’s Creek. The contrasting styles of oak aging in California and minimal intervention in Australia come together in a very pleasing package.

The Main Event: Shiraz

Shiraz is the signature grape of Australia. The Shiraz of Jacob’s Creek is known around the world and is made from grapes from the famed Barossa Valley.

We had three Shiraz to sample and started with the 2014 Reserve Shiraz. This is a full bodied wine that can only be described as crunchy. Big, black fruit with a silky finish. There is freshness to the wine and subtle oak flavors. This is unbelievably good for a price of only $15. This is a knockout.

Jacob's Creek Virtual TastingAfter 160 years, has Jacob’s Creek gone stale? Think again. The 2014 Two Lands Shiraz forced us to do a double-take.

Upon first approach, this had an aroma of farmland and brambles. The higher acidity was noticeable. The more herbal approach was causing the Green Dragon (my wife) to return to the Reserve. But wait! The Two Lands was developing nicely in the glass with complex flavors of dried fruits and prunes. This stock for this wine hit bottom, but then shot through the roof. A nice bottle at a mere $13.

Jacob’s Creek flexed its innovation muscles once again with their Double Barrel Shiraz. The wine is aged in used Scotch whiskey barrels and the effect is a sensational complexity – a taste of char and dark spices with a dollop of chocolate. This wine shows how those in the spirits industry can work together to share resources and make amazing products. This is an aromatic wine that shows thick legs on the glass. If this is any indication, we can’t wait for their Triple Barrel Shiraz!

Jacob’s Creek is doing it right. Ofering high quality wine at affordable prices. They aren’t content to lead the pack. William Jacob’s creek continues to flow with innovation, new approaches and astounding success.

Full Disclosure: We received these wines as marketing samples.

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