The 2011 Jacob’s Creek Cabernet Merlot is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot sourced from vineyards in South Eastern Australia. Jacob’s Creek has been making wine since 1847 and South Eastern Australia is a huge grape growing area with a wide variety of climates and produces half of all Australian wines. This is a Bordeaux blend since it features the 2 main grapes used in Bordeaux, France. This is Jacob Creek’s value line of wines and should be readily available at well under ten bucks. There was a time when you didn’t have to pay too much attention to the vintage with value priced wines, since they were usually blends of different vineyards from a variety of locations, they tended to be similar from year to year. But in the last few years the weather around the world has varied drastically and has greatly affected the growing of grapes, in Australia the 2011 vintage is ok, but the 2012 vintage was outstanding. The alcohol content is a very low for an Australian Red wine, 12.8%.
The color is cherry red with purple highlights. The nose is blackberry, newly mown lawn, cinnamon, oak spice and vanilla. This Cab/Merlot has a velvety mouth feel and is well-balanced, especially when compared to valued price Australian wines of a few years back. It tastes of ripe extracted blackberry, a slap of curry spice, cranberry and oaky vanilla. The mid-palate shows some sweet, slightly astringent tannins and sour cherry. The acidity is balanced and the finish while not exactly tasty is bold and long.
I have not been a fan of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and the Jacob’s Creek did not change my mind, but I am enthusiastic about Australian Merlot, so this blend gets me half way there. The sour flavors and the grassy aroma is a bit jarring for me, not enough to put the glass down (heck, I will probably pour a second glass), but to me, this is a food wine. A good cheeseburger or pizza will counter the sour notes and this Bordeaux blend will hit its stride. Keep this one around for food and grab the Shiraz for sipping on the patio.