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.





Jacob’s Creek 2009 chardonnay review – WHAT THE?

12 10 2010

Today we look at a chardonnay from Australia that will cost you only 6 bucks.

I can’t restrain myself, ladies and gentlemen, this white wine from south-eastern Australia is AWE-SOME.  At a price that is almost laughable, you get a smooth white wine with some real character.  A crisp, tart, tangy, enjoyable wine with some true chardonnay taste and aromas, combined with a little extra citrus and minerality, yet almost no oak and almost no butter.   Almost nothing like a typical California chardonnay, it actually acts more like a sauvignon blanc in some ways.  I literally can’t stop drinking it.

Now I admit, Jacob’s Creek 2009 chardonnay is strange in one way:  one bottle that I bought had a screw top.  Another one had a cork.  Same wine.  Same year.  Same STORE.  What the hell!?  I don’t know, but I can tell you this:  the bottle with the cork tasted better.  It was smoother.  And it lacked the slightly over-tart, slightly kerosene-tinged character of the screw top.  But most importantly: both bottles were incredible for a $6 wine.

This aussie is an obvious, flat-out “Best Value” winner, and is:

Jacob's Creek chardonnay review

Highly recommended.





Jacob’s Creek pinot grigio review: Cheap thrill for summer

24 07 2010

Today we review a pinot grigio from Australia that sells for $6 at Total Wine.

This summer, it’s hot out there.  It feels like you’re walking around in a waffle iron.  To make matters worse, it’s 2010.  So your bank account is a mere shadow, a faded husk, of the account it once was.  And you’re super stressed, because you’ve either been let go, or they let everybody else go and you’re stuck doing five times more work.

You need — no, you deserve — some cold, cheap, delicious white wine, my friend.  I think I have something for you.

Jacob’s Creek 2008 pinot grigio is best served not merely chilled, but cold.  Check.  It’s $6.  That’s cheap.  Check.  And although it’s not fully “delicious,” it’s pretty darn good.  Two and-a-half out of three ain’t bad.  Now, pinot grigios are kind of tricky.  They are sometimes so light and clean that it’s like you’re drinking alcohol-flavored water.  It’s hard to find one that is actually delicious, and many are disappointing, such as Santa Margherita, which is ragingly popular, sells for $22, and should cost $7.99.  (See also:  Bose speakers; Enron common stock).

This one is super light and clean.  No complexity.  No depth.  No sweetness.  But it’s nicely tart and citrusy.  Very refreshing.  And it’s not alcohol-flavored water.  Plus, you get a whole bottle for the cost of two frappuccinos.  Sold!

Jacob’s Creek pinot grigio review

Recommended.





Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz/Cabernet and Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz review

8 06 2010

Today we will review two big Australian reds.

Jip Jip Rocks (2008), $15:

First: you don’t want the cabernet.  And you don’t want the shiraz.  (They are drinkable, but merely average.) You want the shiraz/cabernet blend, recommended to me by Michelle at Premier Wine in Wilmington, DE.

Jip Jip is a hit because it tastes big — REALLY big — yet it is not overpowering.  It’s very fruit-forward, without being ooey-gooey sweet.  It has some mild tannins.  It’s  very warm, it’s very dark purple, and it’s delicious.  Its mere existence makes you think of steak.  And it has a cool name and zero “get used to it” phase: most red drinkers will like it right away.

However, Jip Jip is not layered or super complex.  And prior vintages were better.   Either 2008 was a so-so year, or Jip Jip is beginning to “dumb it down” by using cheaper grapes for greater profit as the brand becomes popular.   We won’t know which until next year’s vintage.  For now, it’s still very good, and I still buy it.

Jacob’s Creek (2006), $11:

Another red that I buy fairly regularly, the Jacob’s Creek reserve shiraz has been around a while.  It’s usually incredible for its low price, but it’s always at least good.  The goodness-to-dollars ratio is so exceptional that I have deemed it a “Best Value” (hence, the guy laughing at the slot machine).  It’s a very deep and dark red in color, very BIG, very warm, and utterly yummy.  However, it’s drier, smokier and spicier than Jip Jip, with more tannins.  You wouldn’t call this one a fruit bomb.

The Jacob’s Creek works well with food, or on its own.  One note:  you don’t want their regular shiraz.  You want the reserve.  Finally, Jacob’s Creek is not super complex, and the current vintage is not their best ever.

Which is better?  This year, for me, it’s Jip Jip, as its higher price would suggest.  But if you like smoky, spicy reds and you avoid juicy, fruit-forward wines, you’ll prefer the Jacob’s Creek.  Either way, you get wonderful bigness on a budget, without the excess oaky taste that is injected into so many California reds.

Both recommended!

Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz/Cabernet review

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz review