‘Johann’ is Jacob’s Creek’s flagship red wine from Barossa, part of the super premium collection and named after the winery’s founder Johann Gramp, aiming at being produced from the highest quality Shiraz and Cabernet vineyards in South Australia.
It is a blend of 81% Shiraz and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet was picked on 25 February of 2012, and the Shiraz was handpicked from a selected section of 90-year-old vines three days later.
Once fermented and aged in separate batches, all barrels were tasted to select the best and most suitable for the best possible final blend. Ten new French oak barrels were selected for the Cabernet and a mix of new French/American oak for the Shiraz. Just 1500 cases of the final wine were bottled in total.
This Aussie Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon wine comes, as expected, in a very dark and intense red color. It’s almost as dark as a black hole to the core, very dark red to the rim.
The nose is just as deep and profound. Dark chocolate with a coffee edge, and a wealth of caramel tease your senses with subtlety, as they’re not punchy but elegant and refined.
Some fruity aromas seem to come out to the aromatic profile, with hints of ripe blackberry and strawberry jam. But most fruity notes are still encapsulated in this young wine, waiting to be revealed by ageing. They’re clearly there, but locked in so far.
The pungent spices though, are exuberant. It’s peppery like is typical from concentrated Syrah (or Shiraz). Almost minty (are they eucalyptus aka gum tree aromas?), it is certainly somewhat chili-like.
Put the wine in your mouth, and you’re stroke by how velvety and dense the wine feels. It’s utterly smooth with a tight tannic structure. Tight in the sense that every fine tannin seems to be very densely close to its fellow tannins, forming a palate-coating whole, smooth and silky.
Bursting flavors of prune and date liqueur, marry sweet and pungent spices, clove and nutmeg, oaky smokiness and black tea. It’s complex and fragrant, deep and layered too.
A refined and complex blend of Aussie Shiraz with delicate Cabernet Sauvignon, this special cuvée by Jacob’s Creek offers utter concentration, a dense and velvety tanninc structure, with the power and warmth we expect and like from an Aussie Shiraz.
The wine is so refined, and somewhat elegant, with a surprising introvert character to its flavors, that it surprises and suggests there is somewhat of a French approach to it. It is not all about instant power and instantaneous enjoyment. This is a wine built for ageing and for building up complexity and further depth over many years of cellaring.
In fact, I believe this wine needs at least a good 5 years before it will start showing the genuine depth of its personality. From there, who knows what will happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it would withstand time well for the next 30 years to come.
Perhaps a wine to buy for your children or grandchildren so you can enjoy it with them, just like the Aussie tradition of buying a bottle of Grange for a new-born baby. This might be a good alternative.
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