Monday, December 28, 2009

Creek of the Week: Steingarten Riesling

This week's Creek of the Week is the Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling is an exceptional wine of incredible balance and genuine quality. The 2007 shows its youth in its coloring: pale lemon with light lime-green flashes.

Typical of dry Riesling, this wine has intense citrus aromas with floral undertones of lemon blossom and light musk. On the palate, the wine gives a hint of lime upfront leading to a minerally palate enhanced by more citrus flavors of grapefruit and lime. With incredible acid and length, this wine would pair well with a variety of cheese.

Jacob's Creek suggests mild goat cheeses, double or triple cremes or bloomy rind cheeses.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vinturi : Essential Wine Aerator Review

Today I decided to test the Vinturi; claimed to be one of the best aerators in the world.

The box boasts, "The same bottle of wine treated with Vinturi was higher in overall flavor intensity and mouthfeel... higher in red color intensity and overall aroma intensity... more true to type and of higher quality."

I decided to test this gadget on the Johann Shiraz Cabernet (this weeks Creek of the Week) since it was open and suggests decanting before tasting as some of the sediment tends to settle.

I already found the Johann Shiraz Cabernet to be enjoyable so my expectations were not high for the Vinturi. I was a bit skeptical to say the least and thus pleasantly surprised when I found it to be a valid product.

While I can't claim that I saw a vibrant color change, I did notice a variety of particles in glass number one that I didn't pick up on the first time I tasted the wine.

The nose was undoubtedly cleaner. Black cherries shown through with less influence of the oak and more spice. The mouthfeel was still medium-full but with an airy feeling. The fruit is forward but evenly balanced by spice and oak.

I conclude that the wine quality, overall, did improve. However, I can not definitively say that this will stand true for all wines.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Creek of the Week: Johann Shiraz Cabernet

This week's Creek of the Week is the Johann Shiraz Cabernet 2001.

Upon opening the wine, I discovered a thick, inky residue on the bottom of the cork, showing it's age. The Jacob's Creek Johann Shiraz Cabernet is said to be the icon of the entire Jacob's Creek range, named after founder, Johann Gramp. It definitely stood up to this classification.

Deep jammy, black currant and plum aromas with undertones of cedar and spice.
On the palate the wine shows development. Black ripe fruit is intertwined charred oak making this a perfect wine for the holiday season a cold winter evening.

The wine was bottled in March of 2003 after being carefully aged at the Jacob's Creek winery. Although this bottle has been resting for six years, another couple years of aging could potentially enhance the complexity of this already savoury wine.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Creek of the Week: 2004 St. Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon

Today's Creek of the Week is the St. Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra Australia. An inky garnet in color, this wine has pronounced mint and deep blackberry notes on the nose which stay true on the palate accompanied by soft tannins and hints of oak.

This wine is recommended for cellaring up to ten years, and it is our opinion that another 1-2 will make this wine to die for. However, this wine is also quite enjoyable now.

Jacob's Creek suggests pairing the St. Hugo with long aged cheddars and mild washed rind cheeses (“stinky”)

"Try the Idiazabal, Great Britain Spain, Sheep Milk. From the Basque region in Spain, the wheels are smoked over beech wood, giving it a smoky quality. Similar to Manchego, Roncal or Zamorano."

For the holidays, try this perfectly paired dish:

Filet Mignon Au Poivre


Coarsely cracked pepper

1/3 Cup Brandy or Cognac

Four 2-inch thick steaks

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 Tbsp Butter

1 Minced Shallot


Season both sides of steak with pepper and salt

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat

Saute the shallot until translucent, about 1 minutes

Add steaks, cook 3-4 minutes for medium rare

Transfer steaks to platter and add brandy to hot skillet

Quickly scrape sides and bottom of pan

Reduce heat and add heavy cream.

Pour over steaks and serve with your favorite sides

Monday, December 7, 2009

Creek of the Week: Jacob's Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz 2005

Two words: Absolutely delicious.
This wine excited my palate on this dreary Monday afternoon to a point I did not foresee.

A deep, inky purple with a garnet room, the aroma of this wine is dominated by vanilla oak aromas with hints of black pepper spice and jammy plum. On the palate, this wine stays true to the nose with flavours of vanilla, black cherries and a hint of spice. Soft tannins are elegantly balanced by the generous acid of the wine with a lingering finish of black olive.

To be fair, I love Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Syrah in general is one of my favorite grapes and this regions is known for their characteristically deep, fruity flavours that I love so much.

The Centenary Hill Shiraz got it's named for the fig tree Fred Gramp, grandson of Johann Gramp, planted in 1947 in honor of the first 100 years of the Jacob's Creek Vineyard.

Jacob's Creek recommends decanting this wine as some sediment may be present in the bottle. It is also recommended that this wine be cellared for ten years. If it's this good now, imagine what is to come!