Budget Wine: 2008 Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Average Price: $10
I first tasted the Jacob's Creek wines about 20 years ago. And I have to say, that for consistency and quality the brand has definitely stood the test of time.
In particular I find their reserve range to deliver so much for the modest price range of about $10-$12. This 2008 Reserve Shiraz is quite fragrant with ripe jammy black berry fruit, sweet spice, mocha, hints of mint and a lovely floral lift. Plush mouthfeel with soft tannins that gently frame the wine, opulent, creamy texture and packed with ripe but very juicy forest fruits, with flavors similar to the nose. Gently warming with a smooth, creamy finish.
At the Table
This is a fairly versatile wine. Fruity and soft enough to enjoy on its own but it is also full-bodied and fleshy enough to cut through rich dishes. At the table this wine would pair really well with meat lasagna, spicy meatballs, shredded beef with a mole sauce, spicy chicken wings or grilled 'merguez' sausage. For a simpler occasion, have it like we did, with a grilled spicy burger, topped with delicious Lamb Chopper cheese and sweet onion chutney.
About Jacob's Creek, Shiraz and the Barossa Valley
Jacob's Creek is one of Australia's largest and most well known wine brands. While its origins date back to 1876, when Johann Gramp, from Bavaria, planted his first vines in the Barossa Valley, it was not until 1976 that the Jacob's Creek brand was actually born with the release of the 1976 Jacob's Creek Claret (a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec). All through the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's the brand has continued to grow internationally. In 1912 the Gramp family started to trade under the name Orlando, which later merged with Wyndham Wines and is now owned by the French drinks group Pernod Ricard.
The Jacob's Creek winery is located in the Barossa Valley, in South Australia. The Barossa Valley is probably Australia's most well known quality wine region, and is home to some of Australia's oldest bush vines - up to 150+ year old Shiraz and Grenache. Shiraz is the Australian name for the Syrah grape.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
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(Image: The Reverse Wine Snob)