Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Archive for March, 2012

Jacob’s Creek – 2010 Reserve Chardonnay / 2008 Reserve Shiraz

Posted by Gabe on March 22, 2012

Jacob’s Creek is one of those Australian brands that is widely available on US shelves; so it’s likely their packaging and logo have some familiarity to wine lovers. Vintage to vintage they tend to release wines that showcase individual personality and the genuine variation expected in vineyard driven releases. Today I’ll look at two of their current wines.

The Jacob’s Creek 2010 Reserve Chardonnay was produced from fruit sourced in the Adelaide Hills region ofAustralia. This widely available offering has a suggested retail price of $12.99 and often sells for closer to $10.

Green apple aromas are joined by emerging hints of spice and a splash of lemon zest on the nose of this Chardonnay. Granny Smith apple, Meyer lemon, stone fruits and bits of sage are all present throughout the palate which shows off a remarkably awesome purity of fruit for a Chardonnay under $20, let alone one that can often be had for around $10. The finish features continued apple characteristics and a blast of spices such as nutmeg and clove. This Chardonnay has excellent acidity and nice balance. It’s primed to enjoy with food.

The Jacob’s Creek 2008 Reserve Shiraz was produced using fruit from Barossa Valley. This nationally available wine has a suggested retail price of $12.99 and you can often find it for a couple of bucks less if you shop around.

Wild strawberry and Bing cherry aromas are prominent in this Shiraz from the first whiff. Hints of fennel slip in as well. The palate here, which is lush and layered, is studded with fruits such as red raspberry and cherry and dotted with blackberry, black plum, white pepper and cardamom. This Shiraz features an above average finish that shows off a continuing cacophony of red fruits as well as a significant mélange of spices. This is a very well balanced Shiraz that showcases rich fruit flavors as well as good balance and structure. It is a particularly nice value in its price category. While the Jacob’s Creek Barossa Shiraz is pretty tasty and engaging from the moment you pour it, 45 minutes or so of aeration really gives it a chance to open up and reveal all of its charms.

In addition to making food and budget friendly wines Jacob’s Creek has also launched a True Character program. It offers the possibility of winning $5,000 to put towards your passion or the charity of your choice. Please do head over to their Facebook page for all the pertinent details.

Posted in Chardonnay, Syrah/Shiraz, Wine | Leave a Comment »

Wilson Winery – 2009 Sydney Vineyard Zinfandel

Posted by Gabe on March 18, 2012

The Facts:

The Wilson Winery 2009 Sydney Vineyard Zinfandel was produced from fruit sourced at the wine’s namesake vineyard. This property which was planted in 1989 sits at an elevation of 1,500 feet. The Sydney Vineyard Zinfandel is a 100% varietal wine. Fruit was hand harvested and fermented in open top vessels with punchdowns three times a day. Aging took place in a combination of French and American oak over a period of 18 months. 540 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $36. Wilson Winery is located at 1960 Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg. They’re open daily from 11 AM until 5 PM. Several tasting options are available (some require a prior appointment). They close on some major holidays so check their website for those specific details or call them at 800-433-4602.

Gabe’s Take:

Wilson Winery has a fairly sizeable portfolio of wines and utilizes many of the grapes Dry Creek Valley is famous for. As it happens, Dry Creek Valley’s best known grape, Zinfandel, is also what Wilson specializes in. I enjoy tasting the various vineyard and style designations they produce each year. The 2009 Sydney’s Vineyard Zinfandel has a deep, dark nose loaded with Blackberries, plums, and blueberries as well as white pepper and vanilla bean. The palate is intense and layered with tons of flavors. Black Cherry, red and black raspberry and a ton of spice characteristics are all present. Rhubarb, pomegranate and lingering kirsch liqueur notes are in evidence throughout the persistent finish which has terrific length. This is a balanced Zinfandel that highlights bold fruit flavors and firm acidity. Without question this wine is made to be paired with some full flavored foods.

Posted in Wine, Zinfandel | Leave a Comment »

Paolo Manzone – 2010 Dolcetto D’Alba “Magna” DOC

Posted by Gabe on March 7, 2012

The wines of Italy are fascinating for many reasons. One of those is the sheer breadth and variety emanating from there. There are tons of varietals made in a host of styles. Sangiovese based wines such as Chianti and Brunello get a lot of attention as does the Nebbiolo based Barolo. However some great pleasures can be had from other grapes that don’t get as much play. One of those is Dolectto. I’ll look at a fine example of one today.

The Paolo Manzone 2010 Dolcetto D’Alba “Magna” DOC was produced using fruit sourced from vines that have roughly 25 years of age on them. The vineyards chosen sit roughly 375 meters above sea level in Piedmont. After gentle pressing the wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. 1,250 cases of this offering were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $17.99.

Plum, violet and vanilla bean aromas fill the nose of this 2010 Dolcetto. Blueberry, black plum, cherry and white pepper characteristics are all present in droves throughout the palate. Hints of sour cherry, black pepper, nutmeg and a wisp of anise emerge on the finish which has good length. This wine has firm, racy acidity and lovely structure. Well made Dolcetto is primed to pair with a wide array of food from roasted meats to pungent cheeses and dishes drenched in red sauce. The 2010 Paolo Manzone is quite definitely a very good example of Dolcetto d’Alba. For around the same price you can find a decent Chianti, you can get this terrific Dolcetto, give it a shot.

Posted in Dolcetto, Wine | Leave a Comment »

Kelly Fleming Wines – 2010 Sauvignon Blanc / 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by Gabe on March 1, 2012

Kelly Fleming Wines is a fairly new boutique producer in Napa Valley. More specifically they’re located in the corner of Calistoga up at the northern end of the valley. It’s always fascinating to see what new producers are up to and today I’ll look at their two brand new releases.

The Kelly Fleming Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was produced using fruit from both Oakville and Pope Valley. This offering is made up of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Several hours of skin contact followed crushing. Fermentation occurred in a combination of new French oak (20%) and stainless steel. Aging took place over three months prior to bottling. 530 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $30. White peach and nectarine aromas jump from the nose of this Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus and continued stone fruit characteristics dominate the palate which has complexity to spare. The finish of this wine is clean and crisp with spices galore and a final impression that begs you back to the glass for additional sips. This is an impeccably balanced Sauvignon Blanc that is in a word, beautiful.

The Kelly Fleming Wines 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced using exclusively estate grown fruit. Specifically the vines are from 12 acres contained within their overall 300 acre parcel. This vineyard is planted to 3 clones of Cabernet Sauvignon on 4 distinct rootstocks. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Each block of fruit was hand picked. Fermentation on the skins occurred over 3 weeks prior to pressing. Barrel aging took place over 20 months in entirely French oak; 85% of the barrels were new. 700 cases of this Cabernet Sauvignon were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $90. The nose of this Cabernet Sauvignon is loaded with deep and dark fruit aromas that are dense and brooding. Blackberry and blueberry aromas are joined by plum pudding spice notes. The palate is a virtual who’s who of dark fruits with plum, black raspberry, blueberry and blackberry all in evidence along with interspersed wisps of red and black cherry. There is a depth and profundity to this wine that is absolutely awesome. The finish shows off bits of earth and dark chocolate as well as pepper spice and a dollop of nutmeg. This wine is remarkably eager and ready to go for a young Cabernet of this complexity. However it will improve with time in the bottle.

Each of these offerings from Kelly Fleming Wines are delicious, fine examples of their varietal as well as distinct. In a veritable sea of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, these wines stand out. Seek them out if you can, you’ll be justly rewarded

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc | 1 Comment »


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