Bernard Hickin, chief winemaker for Jacob’s Creek, talks about the company’s newest double barrel release.

Having worked with Jacob’s Creek since its official launch in 1976, chief winemaker Bernard Hickin knows a thing or two about good grapes. And this year, he is taking the Australian company to new heights with the release of a special new wine range into the Antipodean markets: Double Barrel, a collection of premium red wines finished in aged whisky barrels. “The double barrel technique … imparts additional layers of complexity, beautifully integrated tannins and an incredibly smooth mouth-feel,” says Hickin of the Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz 2012.

“Each goes through two types of barrel treatment. Firstly, we selected high quality fruit from Barossa (shiraz) and Coonawarra (cabernet sauvignon); the wine was then matured in traditional French and American oak wine barrels before being finished in aged Scotch whisky or Irish whiskey barrels.”

The former barrels deliver a more assertive profile to the richly flavoured shiraz, keeping in balance with the boldness of the Barossa shiraz palate – wine in the glass has distinctive dark plum, red fruits with some spice, with typically intense flavours of dried fruits and soft ripe tannins. The Irish whiskey barrels, on the other hand, give a softer texture and mouthful to the cabernet sauvignon, without dominating the varietal flavour. You can look forward to characters of ripe cassis, dark olive and blackberry with silky tannins giving excellent length.

“This is definitely an innovation for Jacob’s Creek, following extensive trials to see the impact of using aged whisky barrels to finish the wines.”

Both wines are now available in Australia and New Zealand.


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