The Jacobs Creek Files: On Coonawarra
|My hand + Coonawarra Cabernet grapes.
These were picked minutes later.
Destined for 2013 St Hugo apparently
Today’s update is a short one, all because of how far away Coonawarra is. Make no mistake, this is an isolated part of the wine world and that 4 hour drive from Adelaide really feels long, not helped by the ‘gunbarrel straight’ flat road to get there. Hardly an enthralling trip. The wines, however, are worth it.
Rather than talk about wines though, today’s focus was on vintage, with multiple harvesters criss-crossing Coonawarra this morning like worker bees servicing the hive, picking ripe Cabernet from vineyards all up and down ‘the strip’ before the rain set in.
Interestingly, unlike parts of the Barossa, Clare and McLaren Vale, yields are apparently about normal or just below in Coonawarra too, the hot and dry summer lessened in this cooler part of the state. Picking dates are close to normal as well, if slightly early, everything looking closer to ‘usual’ with less of the stresses of a condensed vintage like those faced in some Barossan vineyards.
Naturally it’s not all beer and skittles, with reports of sun burn and some variablity, but many Coonawarra producers are excited by the dark colours and rich flavours that this 2013 vintage looks to provide, everything pointing to ‘a ripe one’ that is well suited for reds. It’s rather early to make presumptive statements, but confidence in quality is high. The Orlando (Jacobs Creek) vineyard guys were very happy with the Coonawarra fruit, and the grapes I tasted off the vine were both fresh and had ripe, crunchy pips. Much promise indeed.
Perplexingly perhaps, the only new wine I tasted tonight was a Barossa GSM, from the St Hugo label which, as mentioned earlier in the week, will be made at a new facility from 2014.
Jacobs Creek St Hugo Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2010 (Barossa, SA) 14%
Covered in bling. No surprises perhaps given the decadent chocolatey richness here. Very fruit sweet and tarry, the nose lifted and sweetened. That tarry fudge richness dominated the palate too, the mid palate of sweetly dried fruit flavours driving the wine before a rather warm and alcohol sweet finish. Tastes well above its 14% alcohol or that matter, the tarry and mildly syrupy texture looking warmish.
Very flattering and warm and smooth, I’d like to see something more savoury here but no doubting the commercial appeal. Should win many friends, even if it’s a bit tarry for higher points.
Buy online: Dan Murphy’s, Jacobs Creek Website