Jacobs Creek sure know their audience. As one of the few wineries in the country with a dedicated sensorial lab to help refine wine styles. Couple that with comprehensive market insights JC tends to be on the pulse when it comes to stylistic directions and new product development.
With this Double Barrel Chardonnay & Shiraz Cabernet, they’re tapping into the segment of the audience that wants rich, generous white and red wines. It’s not about subtlety or complexity, it’s about sheer mass of rich and generous flavour, and for that I admire it.
I’ve banged on about the Double Barrel bit when the first wines were released back in 2014 (read here) so you can start there for some background. These two wines carry on the line.
For me, both of these wines feel made. Concocted. A recipe in a bottle. Yet the commercial appeal is absolutely undeniable – lots and lots of drinkers are going to love the volume of sweet fruit and oak. I dip my lid, yet I couldn’t finish a glass of either…
Jacobs Creek Double Barrel Shiraz Cabernet 2019
Easy to admire this. It gives the drinkers what they want – a connection with Scotch whisky (with portions matured in old whisky barrels) and a thick, blocky oak and fruit richness. No region on the bottle (and none needed), with sweet dark berry fruit, and coffeed sweet oak fills the nose, with vanilla bean wood filling in any crevice unfilled by dark fruit, then oak tannins and tart acidity to fill the finish. Super smooth, luscious and spot on with no shortage of intensity, if utterly inelegant. Not my bag, but watch it fly.
Jacobs Creek Double Barrel Shiraz Cabernet 2019. Best drinking: will still be alive come the end of the 2020s. It has heart. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $27. Would I buy it? No.
Jacobs Creek Double Barrel Chardonnay 2020
Clever. Nutty, golden and yet with tart acidity. Golden honey nut fruit and oak is commercially attractive but it’s not real, a facade over a ripe yet tart wine. The oak is chippy and harsh too. This is a step behind the red, which is understandable, but that golden flavour combo will win friends, even if the finish is a bit lean.
Jacobs Creek Double Barrel Chardonnay 2020. Best drinking: now. 16/20, 87/100. 13.5%, $27. Would I buy it? No.
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