Friday, June 12, 2009

Jacob's Creek St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

“What do you mean this wine is $55, I can get this at Dan’s for $30” - but wait, there’s more. “Why don’t you have more wines that I like on the list? Really, a list like this makes me quite angry.”

Now for those restaurant people out there, the first quote is quite common. The second one, however is not, yet one fellow about six months actually said that to me while trolling through my list. It actually made him angry!

People are funny beasts when they have a winelist in their hands; I reckon there are three ways they will go – the safe bet, left field or leave it to the sommelier to choose. And it is the safe bet pick that this blog is about.

The safe bet is the wine on the list that is old school. And this is usually a label from the stables of Fosters, Hardy’s or Orlando. Wines that have been bobbing up for 20-30 years that are more of a house or Domain style rather than that of vintage specific. Now before you start thinking what a snob I am (this is true however), and how I am... well a snob I guess, these wines are what they are because the people who make them know that Bert and Terry and Joyce and Alice will buy them again and again and again. Why you ask? Because they liked it then, they like it now and they’ll like it tomorrow – too easy.

So, onto the wine.

This week, Erin and I opened a bottle of Jacobs Creek St Hugo Coonawarra 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (geez that was a mouthful hey). Now I bought this cos I thought that there was way too much Pinot going in here, and hey, Coonawarra Cab is good.

The wine to look at is big bright red, almost black in the middle with a bright pink hue. The nose is all ripe raspberries with prickly acid. Then the alcohol hits. Big hit – 14.5% to be precise. After that there is not much to pick up other that the booze which goes on for a while. I will say that over time, two hours, and the alcohol sort of blows off with a more eucalypt feel to it. In the mouth it is big, big and big with ripe fruit, quite acidic and in the end very astringent. In the end, just another JABS (see previous blogs).

Drinking old school is something that will happen more often than not considering the almost oligopoly that three producers have in Oz. So when you do, make sure that it is a variety that is suitable for the region, but most of all make sure you like it before you buy! And by the way, when a wine has the bottle number on it, this usually indicates a special release or small number production, but when the bottle number is 400,854, I can rest easy that it is certainly the safe wine that I have been writing about.

Drink till 2014
Drink with anything that has been cooked well! (That’s well done!!!)

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