Winemakers study for many years to get to the top. Just like a chef has to start by prepping food before getting to cook it, eventually reaching the top to create menus.
Winemakers go through the same steps to make it to the top. Chefs get to play with different foodstuffs and wine makers get to play with different ingredients and oak barrels.
Jacob’s Creek chief winemaker Ben Bryant got to use his position to create two unique wines by “playing” in the winery. Ben took two different varietals and aged them in whiskey barrels to create new unique wines.
The Thomas Collective got winemaker Bryant to do a live webcast to explore and explain these wines in a live web cast. Being a wine writing means plenty of winemaker dinners and meet and greets with wine makers from all over the world. Hosting a web cast brought the world together for a unique experience. Winemaker Bryant was able to answer questions in real time, he was in New York, but the audience was scattered across the globe.
Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are ready to make their US debut this week. Each wine has gone through a unique process to create a unique finished product.
The Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon is first aged in French and American oak barrels, from new through several uses for an average of 15-18 months. The wines are then blended and aged in Irish whiskey barrels for 3 additional months. The Cabernet grapes are chosen from superior grapes from Goonawarra vineyards.
We got to taste the Cabernet Sauvignon after the original aging process. The wine had a rich garnet color with aromas of bright red fruits, vanilla and toasted oak. The palate had great upfront fruit with nice acidity and well balanced tannins.
After the aging in Irish whiskey barrels the wine gave a richer sensation. Maybe slightly darker in color with dark red fruits dominating the nose with more minerals in the background. The palate displayed more concentrated fruit with firm but smoother tannins. A completely different tasting and delicious wine that would go fantastic with a lamb dinner for Easter.
Ben Bryant chooses premium grapes from their Barossa vineyards to use in their Shiraz Double Barrel. The wine is aged in 15-18 month in new to fourth use French and American oak barrels. Before the second aging the Shiraz displays the fruit forwardness that is a hallmark of Australian Shiraz.
This Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Double Barrel undergoes three additional months of aging in Scotch whisky barrels. The Shiraz does pick up hints of smokiness from these barrels. The fruit becomes slightly more subdued but the tannins are firm and add structure and acidity to the finished product.
The Jacob’s Creek, Shiraz Double Barrel is also made for Easter. Crown roast of lamb with roasted root vegetables can tame the tannins and still work some sweetness in the wine.
These interactive tastings should become the wave of the future. Consumers getting to interact with winemakers will take some of the mystery out of wine. Wine lovers enjoy the process of learning more about wine and pairing food with wine as well.