The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2016

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INTRO-VINOUS J acob's Creek is one of the biggest wine brands in the world, and also one of the oldest: It was founded in Australia's Barossa Valley in 1847. The challenge of a storied, wide-reaching brand like this is to keep up with the times. And the times, they are a-changing. "The Australian category has been declining in recent years as value players have really influenced consumer perception," says Greg Berumen, Brand Director for Jacob's Creek. "The fact is that Australia is still producing some of the best quality wine for value in the market, and we need to give consumers another reason to think and buy Australian wine again." Berumen adds that "product blurring" is a major trend. Consider, for example, V8's "Fruit Fusion" juice line or Nestea's coffee-tea blends. "A lot of brands are crossing the lines with what they are as the base brand, blurring into other categories," says Berumen. Along these lines, Jacob's Creek is launching Double Barrel, a Shiraz aged in whiskey oak bar- rels, as part of the brand's effort to reach Millennial consumers, who not only have plenty of other value wine options besides Australian Shiraz, but also love drinking whiskey. "A lot of Millennials have fallen in love with whiskey; in the U.S. it's one of fastest-growing liquor categories," explains Berumen. Double Barrel is "a way to bring new life to the brand, have new consumers be introduced to what this brand might offer them." The Double Barrel wines—which launched in select U.S. markets in March 2015—are aged 12 months in traditional oak barrels, then finished in an aged whiskey oak barrel, lending smoothness and richness to the wine. To appeal to Millennials who love artisanal products, Jacob's Creek called upon one of Napa Valley's best-known winemakers, Ehren Jordan, who founded Failla Winery and until 2014 was the winemaker at Turley Estates. With no formal enological training, Jordan learned about wine through various industry and winemaking jobs around the world, and became known for his ability to craft incredible terroir-driven wines. Working alongside Jacob Creek's Chief Winemaker, Bernard Hicken, Jordan has created a line of wines called Two Lands, featuring Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, which bring together California craftsmanship with Australian character. Beyond Standard Shiraz Jacob's Creek is launching Double Barrel, a Shiraz aged in whiskey oak barrels. Ehren Jordan and Bernard Hickin collabo- rated on the line of wines called Two Lands. WITH DOUBLE BARREL AND TWO LANDS, AUSTRALIA'S JACOB'S CREEK IS RIDING THE ARTISANAL TREND by Rachel Signer PHOTO COURTESY OF JACOB'S CREEK PHOTO COURTESY OF JACOB'S CREEK PHOTO COURTESY OF JACOB'S CREEK 50  /  the tasting panel  /  january-february 2016

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