Thursday, October 11, 2012

Almost an apology to Australia - Jacob's Creek Reserve Cab

Just last month I was somewhat unkind to the Australian wine industry in my post about Parson's Paddock Cabernet Sauvignon . I denigrated the quality of the Ozzie reds in the $15 range and swore not to darken their door with my dollars in the future, however this month I must recant, although only on a technicality.

For the month of October the BCLDB is discounting, by $2 per bottle, both the Reserve Shiraz, from Barossa, and the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, from Jacob's Creek Winery and with the discount that makes the selling price of both these wines $14.99. I will buy these wines, I buy them at their regular price, so I must grudgingly admit that for this month at least Australia are once again playahs in the "under $15" range. In fact I probably owe it to Jacob's Creek to retaste their entry level wines again, they have an abundance of wines in the $10-$13 range that may be worth drinking on a regular basis, but focusing on the Reserve wines let me assure you these are very good wines and at $14.99 represent excellent value and something to buy now for the Christmas season.

I recently had a bottle of the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 vintage, from the Coonawarra Valley and it was everything Australian Cabernet should be. Coonawarra is a 24 square kilometre strip on Australia's Limestone Coast situated near the Victoria border, the region is characterized by it's distinctive terra rossa soils and with a cooler harvest season and a climate not dissimilar to Bordeaux, with the ocean only 60km away Coonawarra has long been Australia's premiere site for Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2009 Reserve Cabernet Cabernet from Jacob's Creek is a deep crimson red in the glass, with hints of purple around the edges, the nose is rich with minty spices, a touch of mocha and plummy, blackberry notes. In the mouth there are more blackberry cassis flavours, some white pepper and a distinctive backnote of black olives, the mouthfill is excellent and the finish is long. The wine is not a typical Oz fruit bomb, there is a healthy level on tannin which means it works well with food and will last another year or two in the bottle. I recall this wine retailing in the $20 range not that long ago so even at it's regular price of $16.99 it represents good value and the discounted price is an absolute steal.

Buy it, the supply isn't great, less than 70 cases available in the province, but you should be able to find some .

So at least for this month ............I'm sorry Australia, you can produce quality wines under $15 retail.

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