Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jacob's Creek Cabernet, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir

A quickie. I was sent some samples of Jacob's Creek wines to taste earlier this year and finally got around to opening during our hot summer here in Oregon. Without too much fluff, here are the tasting notes and my impressions on each of the three wines I was sent.

2010 Jacob's Creek Reserve Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills: I wasn't a big fan of this one, but some might enjoy it. Smells a bit like eucalyptus mixed with cherry cough drops. Some dusty earth manifests too, but it's definitely muted. The pinot character clearly shines through in this, with bright cherries and cranberries, mixing with herbaceous flavors. As the evening progressed, I re-tasted this several more times and it seemed to just fall apart. The cough syrup notes take over and it becomes disjointed on the palate. Pinot Noir is  hard to do on the cheap though. Buyer beware. 13.6% abv. $10 nationally.

2010 Jacob's Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra: Smells dusty, dry, like the Outback. Notes of jalapeño pepper, green herb, dusty trail, and some red fruit. Drying on the palate, and rather soft for a young cabernet. Tart red fruits tend to dominate, but they're somewhat simple. I think this needs a cheeseburger to truly shine. After tasting this several more times through the evening, I concluded that it's a wine on the cusp of being tasty and fun, but it just doesn't get there. At the price point, you can find better.  13.9% abv. $10 nationally.

2010 Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz Barossa: Smokey, Barossa-y, spicy shiraz. I like this, especially for the price. It's got a really solid balance between ripe fruit - think plums and black cherry - and drying, astringent tannin. Definitely a wine to have with big foods like barbecued ribs. Easy to find nationally, well made, and very much a wine to drink year-round. Recommended. 14.1% abv. $10 nationally.

If you bat .300 or greater during a baseball career, you're pretty much guaranteed a Hall of Fame selection. Jacob's Creek did just that with these three wines. The shiraz is clearly the superior wine of the bunch and worth your consideration. I can't put my recommendation on the other two though, because while they may be inexpensive and easy to find, they're simply not wines I want you to drink.

These wines were samples for review purposes.

Beau Carufel

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