By James Atkinson

Jacob's Creek yesterday provided an exclusive preview of its releases for 2012, which chief winemaker Bernard Hickin has proclaimed is the best vintage he's seen in 38 years.

At the 'best of 2012' tasting yesterday, Jacob's Creek sparkling and white winemaker, Rebekah Richardson, said the quality of the vintage can be seen in all its new release white wines, including the entry level Cool Harvest and Classic labels.

"The 2012 Riesling is outstanding, whether you are tasting the Classic, the Reserve or the Steingarten, they're just a phenomenal indication of how good the vintage was," she said.

"The Cool Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is at about 10.5 per cent alcohol. You are still seeing those really punchy tropical fruit flavours and aromas, but you're seeing them at about two per cent lower alcohol than you would see in our Jacob's Creek Classic," Richardson said. 

"I think this is [also] a clear indication of the strength of the 2012 vintage."

Jacob's Creek senior red winemaker Nick Bruer subsequently conducted a tasting of tank and barrel samples of some of the components for the Classic and Reserve 2012 Shiraz and Cabernet releases.

While all are works in progress, Bruer said they nonetheless demonstrate the "embarrassment of riches" the company has to work with in crafting its 2012 reds ahead of their release later this year.

Wine media present at the tasting included James Halliday, who said the 2012 Reserve releases look set to include wines of astonishing value for their $18 price point.

The Shout Team

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