WHAT: I am seldom disappointed by a $10 bottle of wine because I don’t expect much beyond a good, simple drink. But when I come across a bottle like the Jacob’s Creek Red Blend I am impressed that they can do so much for so little.
This a bold, velvety, fruit-bomb of a wine. The explosion of fresh fruit flavors in your mouth begins with the first sip and doesn’t quit until the bottle is empty.
The wine is a beautiful dark red in the glass, with flecks of crimson on the edge. The inviting aroma starts with chocolate and spiced coffee, rolling into ripe red fruits such as raspberry and cherry. The taste is where this wine really got me, with layer after layer of full, round fruit, especially cherries and dark berries. The finish lingers pleasantly.
Soft, round tastes are balanced by just enough oak to give the wine some backbone. While it is a pleasant sipping wine, it also will hold up to some big meals.
This is a blend of four South Eastern Australia grapes: Shiraz, 66 percent; Cabernet Sauvignon, 18 percent; Grenache, 12 percent, and Petit Verdot four percent.
Each variety is harvested and fermented separately, using techniques best suited for each variety. The wine components age separately for nine months in French and American oak before the final blend is assembled.
The Shiraz contributes dark fruit and lushness. The Cab gives the wine structure, the Grenache juiciness and the Petit Verdot spiciness. Together they make an eye-popping blend that will please most palates.
This is not a wine to lay down for the future. Drink it now, and you will be delighted. I even think it would be good slightly chilled for sipping on a hot summer afternoon.
WINERY: Jacob’s Creek is a small waterway that runs through the famous wine-producing region of the Barossa Valley, about 50 miles north of Adelaide. I have visited the Barossa, and it is one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world.
The Barossa was settled in the 19th century by German Lutheran immigrants, who brought their wine culture with them. The creek was discovered by Europeans in 1837 and surveyed by William Jacob in 1839. Jacob settled there and gave the creek its name.
Bavarian immigrant Johann Gramp started the wine craze in the Barossa Valley region when he planted his first vineyard on the banks of Jacob’s Creek in 1847.
The company was first known as G. Gramp & Sons (for Johann’s son Gustav) and later was named Orlando Wines. Orlando is German for “Roland,” a reference to Rowland Flat where the first grapes were planted by Johann.
The Jacob’s Creek brand first appeared on the label in 1976, on a 1973 vintage blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. In 2002 the company built a spectacular visitor center on the banks of Jacob’s Creek. More than 150,000 people come there every year for wine tastings, vineyard tours, an interpretive gallery, native gardens and walking trails.
In the local aboriginal dialec the creek is called “Cowieaurita”, meaning “yellow-brown water”, in an area known to them as Moorooroo.
Jacob’s Creek produces a wide variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Moscato White and Rosé, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a Shiraz-Cabernet blend and a Merlot-Cabernet blend. They also produce sparkling wines, reserve wines, and two super premium wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shiraz.
GOES WITH: My wife, Teri, and I drank this with a no-fuss meal of leftovers, but they were great leftovers. We had some Edisto shrimp we had boiled a couple of days before and some chopped pork we had frozen.
We mixed the barbecue pork with our favorite sauces and it tasted like it had just come off the grill. That’s a perfect match for the Jacob’s Creek with its fresh fruit flavors and touch of oak.
I think the wine would be a good match for many foods, including Buffalo wings, pizza, Mexican food and grilled meat from chicken to steak.