Driven by a culture of wine innovation and a desire to craft a unique new wine style, the winemakers at Jacob’s Creek sourced aged barrels that had cradled premium whiskies for up to 20 years, and started experimenting.
The wines go through two types of barrel treatment (hence the name Double Barrel). They are aged in traditional wine barrels first, before being finished in used whiskey barrels. The winemakers soon discovered that the double barrel finishing process lent additional complexity and texture to the wines.
The Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz was finished in Scotch whisky barrels and the Double Barrel Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon in Irish whiskey barrels.
“Each barrel performs differently, so it took time to understand the true effect on the wines, and achieve a result that was perfectly balanced,” explained Bernard Hickin, Chief Winemaker at Jacob’s Creek over a VIP media lunch at Gusto at The Grand in mid-April. “We started with high quality fruit from selected Barossa and Coonawarra vineyards, from which we crafted premium red wine. We then matured the parcels traditionally in French and American oak barrels, before finishing 100% of the matured wine in aged whiskey barrels.
“We discovered that finishing the wines in aged whiskey barrels introduced additional intricacy and a smoother texture, due to the fundamental differences between barrels made for ageing whiskey, and those crafted to age wine.”
The development of Double Barrel has been a complex project that has taken two years since inception for Jacob’s Creek to perfect. The result is a premium range consisting of Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz and Double Barrel Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.
Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel is available from leading liquor retailers across New Zealand from May 2015 at RRP $24.99.