Recently Jacob’s Creek, a top wine maker in Australia and the pioneer winemaker in the legendary Barossa Valley, invited wine writers to a virtual tasting. These are always enjoyable, so I happily received the five wines sent by Jacob’s Creek and joined in the online tasting.
Jacob’s Creek representatives in Australia and New York led us through the five wines, providing background to the making and other insights. Wine writers commented on Twitter, although I enjoy listening to the makers discuss their wines much more than coming up with clever Tweets (and thus missing out on what the makers are saying). In any event, a good time was had by all, and the five wines were outstanding.
I have long admired Jacob’s Creek for delivering really solid Australian wines at excellent price points. Their wines are vivid proof you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good wine. The five wines ranged in price from $8 to $19, and I would not hesitate to pour any of them for anyone.
The tasting presents something of a challenge for the blog/website. As followers know, I try to go into some depth on my wine reviews, telling the back story of the people and the vineyard/region in addition to my evaluation of the taste of the wine.
You don’t want to read material about Jacob’s Creek over and over in my five reviews, so I will give some Jacob’s Creek background in this post, and then follow with five quick reviews of the wines.
The story begins with the arrival of Bavarian-born Johann Gramp in Australia in 1837. In 1840, William Jacob settled on land near a small creek that eventually would bear his name; his original cottage remains on the grounds of the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre.
Johann Gramp purchased 74 acres of land beside Jacob’s Creek in 1847, planted the first commercial vineyard in the Barossa, and made his first wine around 1850. In 1877, Johann’s son Gustav moved the winery to its present location at Rowland Flat, a little more than a mile from the original winery. The company—Orlando Wines—grew, and in 1947 celebrated its centennial.
The Jacob’s Creek brand was born in 1976, and in 1984 the winery began exporting to the United Kingdom, then to the United States and the rest of the world as the world discovered the treasures of Australian wine. In 1994, Jacob’s Creek received the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award for outstanding contribution to the Australian wine industry, the first time a brand rather than an individual received the award. In 2008, the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists named Jacob’s Creek the world’s most awarded winery.
Reviews of the five wines will follow independently. Needless to say, if you have not tried a Jacob’s Creek creation, do not hesitate to do so.