Steingarten riesling and Jacob’s Creek Visitor’s Centre

Mar 14, 13 Steingarten riesling and Jacob’s Creek Visitor’s Centre

Posted by in Australia, Travel

Laying by the pool at the Novotel Hotel in Barossa Valley, the last thing I wanted to do was leave, especially considering this was my last chance to get some sun before returning to grey England but I had an appointment with  Jacob’s Creek and so I reluctantly left the pool, headed for the Steingarten riesling vineyard. However, once I met up with James Keane from Jacob’s Creek and we were standing on top of the Hill of Grace, I was glad I had abandoned the pool. We were standing on a hill overlooking the vines of Steingarten, a legendary riesling vineyard of the Barossa Valley. Colin Gramp originally dynamited the hills to plant the vines in the rocky soil and planted roughly 1000 vines on side of the windy hilltop. Jacob’s Creek still uses grapes from this plot to make the Steingarten although they do source grapes from the Eden Valley, which the vines face, in the distance. Steely, pure and intense, James and I had a glass of the Steingarten riesling before toasting the vines with the leftovers in our glass. Afterwards we did a brief tour of some of the other vineyards of Jacob’s Creek before lunch. After that we headed over to the new visitor’s centre recently opened by Jacob’s Creek. Now I know Jacob’s Creek has a bit of a reputation in the UK as being a cheap supermarket wine but the Australians keep all the good stuff for themselves. I have to admit I had certain prejudices regarding Jacob’s Creek’s wines but over there they have lots of interesting wines available. We sat down to lunch and I had a choice of 3, what James called, ‘new varieties’ of Australia, fiano, vermentino and arneis. Jacob’s Creek likes to experiment and these 3 are part of ‘cellar door only’ wines available to the public. The other ‘new varieties’ included montepulciano, tannat, negroamaro, mataro (mouvedre, not really a ‘new variety’ so to speak as it’s been grown in the Barossa...

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Ex-friend just topped up my ’99 Paulliac with Jacobs Creek Shiraz!!Ah, Thanksgiving…

So there I was. It’s Thanksgiving and we are celebrating an American holiday here in London town. I had the day off and spent most of the afternoon defrosting the turkey. Once defrosted, popped into the oven and carefully basted every half hour until a lovely golden brown. Then the sides- potatoes, stuffing, sprouts, gravy, etc. Almost time to eat. And what do we have to go along with this sumptuous feast? A variety of wines from Jacob’s Creek Shiraz for the less discerning  to a fantastic Beaujolais cru (more on that later) and a Paulliac, the Lacoste-Borie 1999. Finally time to sit down and eat. I  had decanted the Paulliac an hour earlier which should have been sufficient time for it to open up. I poured. Now, Lacoste -Borie is the second wine of the famous Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste but it is still quite good, a well made wine with finesse and elegance. The wine is composed of primarily cabernet sauvignon with merlot making up the remainder. I took a sniff –  lovely cedary, graphite aromas with subtle tobacco notes peaking through. I swished it round – nice! Supple tannins, very cassis–y notes underpinned by a toastiness that stayed on for some time. It was a perfect wine for turkey around the holidays. I was quite enjoying it, talking, laughing, eating and then I made the fatal mistake of setting my glass down for a minute. I can still recall the exact moment. It was all in slo-mo. I remember chatting to my neighbor then turning my head and  reaching for my glass. At the same moment here comes my friend with the dreaded Jacob’s Creek in hand, she was topping up her glass. It just didn’t register that she was going to top up my glass as well and before I could scream – NOOOOO! It was too late, the deed was done. Despite her repeated apologies, I found it a bit difficult to forgive her but fortunately there was still some Paulliac left. I managed to console myself with...

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