Jacob’s Creek reserve shiraz review: WHAT WHAT!!

2 01 2012

Today it’s a 2008 Australian shiraz that goes for $9.99.

Question!   How is this intense, spicy wonder only 10 bucks?!  It used to be $11 or more.  In my last review of Jacob’s Creek reserve shiraz, I said the 2006 was a good buy, but not the best year for this stout red wine.   

But today’s 2008 reserve, which also carries the name Barossa, and still comes with a real cork and everything, is a huge taste winner.  It’s more delicious, AND cheaper, AND more complex.  

That combination threatens to topple the current all-time Wineguider red wine value winner, Koonunga Hill shiraz/cabernet from Penfolds (reviewed here).  I will edit this (see below) to let you know.  For now, get ready for a subtle aroma of spice, impressive “Napa cab”-like tannins, and a big, warm taste of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and a little rhubarb.  Plus subtle blackberry, and no sweet blueberry pie in the face, as is so common with shiraz from down under.   

Jacob's Creek reserve shirazA Best Value winner at $10, and highly recommended anywhere up to $15.

EDIT:   After several bottles, I have decided not to dethrone Koonunga Hill shiraz/cabernet, for one reason:  I have found the 2008 Jacob’s Creek reserve shiraz to be inconsistent.  Some bottles have been wonderful; others have been pretty bad.   I don’t know if this is the fault of the winery, the importer, the store, or what.  But at this low price, it’s still very much worth checking out.





Jacob’s Creek reserve pinot noir review

3 11 2010
Jacob's Creek Reserve Pinot Noir

Jacob's Creek Reserve Pinot Noir

Hello!  Today, in a mild-mannered Clark Kent of a wine review that will make no mention of urine or the Pain Train, we check out a $12 2007 Australian pinot noir.

OK here’s the deal:  if you love wines with a minerally taste, this is your pinot noir.  And if you don’t . . . you should read on.  The appearance, one bottle of which I received as a sample, matches its taste: somewhat light.  (Jacob’s Creek calls it medium-bodied.)  The aroma is muted, a combination of cherry and alcohol.

On your tongue you get minerality, along with black cherries, raspberries and cloves. It tastes like real pinot noir, and it’s very drinkable, at a low price.  That almost never happens.  The flaw I noticed is a lack of complexity, also true for the $9 Mark West, our value benchmark. 

Which is better?  I prefer the Mark West, because it’s SO pinot, and SO cheap, and because I am not a huge fan of the “minerally” thing in pinot noir. But the Jacob’s Creek Reserve is probably better, because it’s smoother, has a more pleasing texture, and doesn’t have Mark West’s fire-breathing alcohol overtone.  Either way, this Aussie, ladies and gentlemen, is:

Recommended.