Once you move outside of the Yellow Tail collection there are two Southeastern Australian wines found in almost every wine retailer, Lindeman and Jacob’s Creek. In previous reviews I have looked at a couple offerings from Lindeman so this week and next I want to provide equal time to a couple of red blends from folks at Jacob’s Creek. First up the 2010 Shiraz Cabernet, a blend of 67% Shiraz and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Slightly see through garnet take a moment to appreciate the color while swirling the wine around the glass. Some air will help to bring out the nose of bright berry and oak with a peppery backing that is a trait of Australian Shiraz. All of the Jacob’s Creek reds I have tried over the years have a very characteristic nose on the back end and this one is no different. I can’t really place it, but it strikes me like the smell of plastic wrap underlying the fruit, not necessarily unpleasant, just distinctive. The berry fruit nose continues to dominate the flavor profile filled out with some currant and hint of cedar framed in the end by black pepper reminiscent of the pepper steak at your local Chinese restaurant. This is a medium weight wine that has a strong front and back palate presence with a weak middle that leads to a lack of overall balance. I sampled the bottle again several days after opening and found a much less fruity but also one that evened out the lack of mid palate in my initial tasting, a good argument for letting this wine breathe before serving.
In either case there was a long lasting essence of flavor left in the mouth that when combined with soft, but evident tannin and cleansing acidity makes this a really good choice to pair with a meal. What to have? I would suggest something off the grill, a standard recommendation for these two grapes, but also a good one from my experience. Avoid foods that are mild in flavor, the peppery nature of this wine is likely to obliterate them. The video with this review is oddly consistent with the nature of this wine given the age of the video and the recent vintage sampled for this review, so take a look at the food suggestions and see what you think and have some fun experimenting, this is not a pretentious wine by design or nature.
Available all around the Fort Myers area look for the 2010 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cab to be priced around $5 per bottle, it may be a little higher but you should find it easily at a price that won’t break the bank. Some final thoughts, while it clearly shows the characteristics of the grapes in the blend this is a not a wine to stand in line to buy. The lack of mid palate to balance a good open and decent finish resulted in a personal lack of interest as a standalone wine. On the other hand, if you are serving a meal to people that like black pepper and dark fruit this could fit the bill.