“It’s a Cracker!”

Not knowing what to expect when I walked into The James Hotel - I met Krista and she showed me to the room. I walked into this gorgeous room overlooking Downtown Chicago and there was this tall man with a thick Australian accent. He introduced himself, Bernard, Chief Winemaker for Jacob’s Creek Winery. I’m sure you heard of them, they were the first to plant a vineyard commercially along the banks of the legendary Barossa Valley and today they are of the leading exporters from Australia

I was invited to taste their newly released “Regional Reserve Wines” focusing on three key wine regions, Barossa, Coonawarra, and Adelaide Hills. These wines reflect the distinct personality of each region through the perspective grape. I sampled their Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and their famous Shiraz. When I sampled the 2007 Shiraz the descriptors started flowing freely. In a word, it was delicious! That’s when Bernard said, in his thick Australian accent, “Wait ‘till you try the 2008 vintage – it’s a cracker!” Not sure why, maybe it was the several glasses of wine working, but it was funny. Never hearing that term before I found out it means it’s great. Of course I asked him to ship me a bottle of that when it was released.

A few months later I got that bottle signed by Bernard. I could not wait to open that baby up! Upon pour it was a deep cerise color. The bouquet offered rich French blackberry jam followed by juicy plums with notes of vanilla and spice. On the palate were expressive and clean black juicy fruits. It continued with notes of oak, cinnamon, and sweet vanilla. Although not a very long finish it still left me wanting another sip. Bernard was right, it was a cracker!

Sláinte! TCW


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