Friday, January 8, 2010

Garden of Stones

319. 2006 Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling (Barossa - Australia)

This is yet another bottle where I found out a lot more about it than I knew before - but after we'd opened and finished it. I was quite surprised to find out that Jacob's Creek is one of the largest wine producers in the world. However, that may just play a bit of a role in why I can't say that we drink much of their wine.

I found at least a couple of articles on the web that referred to the fact that many wine writers tend to either simply ignore or to lump Jacob's Creek wines with other "brand wines" - like [yellow tail]. One of those making the comment was John Halliday and he also says he thinks those writers underestimate the quality of the wine produced by Jacob's Creek. He gives the winery, as a whole, a rating of five stars - his highest.

He also gives the Steingarten Riesling a stellar rating. The last five vintages have received scores of 90 points or more. The 2006 is the current vintage and was scored at 94. He also commented that it could cellar successfully until 2016. Maybe we opened it a bit early. I won't worry too much about it though. I tend to like my Rieslings on the fresh side (as opposed to the aged wines showing hints of gasoline and the like).

This bottle was definitely on the crisp side with tons of citrus. While I can appreciate the minerality and big lime, I tend to gravitate more to Germany and Alsace - or to BC - where there might be a bit more emphasis on subtler stone fruit and maybe even a touch of residual sugar.

Although this is a premium wine for Jacob's Creek and "Steingarten" refers to a particular, higher altitude, vineyard that was planted by the winery in the 1960's, this is not a single vineyard wine. Rather, the winery states that the grapes going into the wine are indicative of the flavour profile found with the Steingarten vines and fruit.

If memory serves correctly, I picked this bottle up at the Playhouse Wine Festival last year. So, I certainly thought enough of it at that point. Then again, when buying at the Festival, I generally reach for bottles that can't be found in Vancouver at other times of the year. At $36 though, I think I'd have to think about grabbing another bottle if I found it.

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