Jacob's Creek Shiraz Reserve 2003 Real Time Wine Review (NW)
Ripe berries on the nose surrounded by an unusual blend of pepper and sweet spices
Fleshy core, moderately dense
Smooth finish with pepper and mint notes and a hint of vanilla
Okay, I had to get in on the action! I'm tasting this wine right now as I review the posting from PB on July 3, 2006. Take a minute to refer to this posting to see why I mention this. PB put in a rather brief review of the wine and several well-imformed comments were tacked on creating a thread of dialogue about Australian Shiraz.
I agree with the general consensus from those who posted comments. Allegedly, this wine got an inflated score from Wine Spectator with a 91. However, I don't see that in their database and am wondering if maybe it's very recent and is not listed in the wine ratings yet. Maybe it was Wine Enthusiast. Either way, that's a big score and I just don't see how the wine deserves that. Especially in the category of $10-20 Australian Shiraz, where you can still get a great deal of wine for the money. (You've got to be in the mood for a really ripe, fruity wine, though!)
This wine is still a good value for $11, but it's no 91 point wine. I agree with several comments regarding an alternative choice, the Peter Lehmann Shiraz. I assume they're referring to the Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley Shiraz, which I'd take over the Jacob's Creek Reserve any day. While the Peter Lehmann wines are usually a few dolllars more, the 2003, 2002, and 2001 are very good and worth the extra money.
With that said, it's an interesting category of wine for sure. When you want a really ripe, fruity bottle at a reasonable price, this is the aisle to be in. I paid $11 for this particular wine and feel that it's a good buy under any circumstances.
One more thing... in PB's review, you'll note that he let the wine breath for a while to see how it changed. He's very good about doing this to give the wine a second chance if it doesn't show much right away. In this case, it's the right thing to do. New layers emerged and additional complexity developed with some time. Thanks for the dialogue and raise a glass!