Jack Nicklaus releases the second vintage of his namesake wines
In 2010, the inaugural release of Jack Nicklaus’s new wine label debuted at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. And by all accounts, the Golden Bear’s first foray into vino was “major” success - within a day, the 1,000 cases of the 2007 vintage was sold out.
OK - sorry about that. Seriously, though, this year, the 2008 vintage is being released with an expanded, 11,000-case inventory of the two available varieties, both red: 2008 cabernet sauvignon and 2008 Private Reserve.
Considering that it seems every golfer from Greg Norman to Annika Sorenstam to Luke Donald has his or her own label, it’s only right that the greatest of all time should try his hand in viniculture. Nicklaus teamed up with the Terlato family, whose Napa Valley wineries include the well-respected Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill wineries.
“We were looking for a new challenge, and our venture with the Terlato family has been every bit as interesting and gratifying as I had hoped,” Nicklaus said. “Now that we’ve got one great vintage, we are excited about building a record of consistent high quality that even more people can count on, year in and year out.”
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one bottle of each variety prior to the official release. I grilled up a couple of prime top sirloins with baked potatoes and green beans sauteed in butter with slivered almonds and garlic - classic cab fare - and poured the cabernet through a Vinturi aerator.
The nose was rich and jammy, with a hint of leather. The palate, to me, contained a hint of smoke and red currants. My favorite part though was the finish, which was balanced, with gentle tannins and a pleasant, lingering dryness. Absolutely perfect with my rare (er, bloody) steak. My take was not far off of the official tasting notes:
“The 2008 Jack Nicklaus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is a brilliant garnet and shows aromas of blackberry and red plum, with notes of cedar. It’s full bodied and rich with intense, layered mocha and red current flavors and undertones of sweet spice. The concentrated mid-palate glides into a long and lingering finish.”
My wife, who is not an oenophile, also liked Jack’s cab very much, offering one of the highest praises she has for red wine: “It doesn’t burn at all going down.”
So, there you have it.
The Jack Nicklaus 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon will be available in 18 states, and can be pre-ordered on uncorked.com. Retail is $40.
Stay tuned for my take on the 2008 Private Reserve, which I’ll be pouring tonight to accompany braised beef spare ribs with fennel-and-mixed-veg shepherd’s pie.
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