Jack Nicklaus Private Reserve 2008 will make any meal better
Last week, I reviewed the 2008 Jack Nicklaus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I was duly impressed by the balanced acidity and rich fruit undernotes – perfect for a grilled prime steak.
This week, I uncorked the somewhat more refined sister of the cabernet, the 2008 Jack Nicklaus Reserve, only to find that Jack racks up his fine wines like he did majors. This $50 bottle drinks as well as or better than many $75+ wines I’ve had.
The Reserve is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit syrah grapes, all from Napa Valley. And, like the cabernet sauvignon, was crafted by the expert Terlato family vintners.
The 2008 Reserve is a bit more complex than the cab, with an assertive black cherry character that is accented by undercurrents of paprika, smoke, and perhaps even a little black licorice. The tannins are subtler in the Reserve than in the cab. Once again, my own tasting notes weren’t too far off the official notes from the vintner’s own press release:
“… [I]ntense and structured Cabernet offering deep black cherry fruit with accents of vanilla and smoky paprika. The concentrated layers of dark fruit – black cherries and black raspberry – are wrapped with velvety tannins and a subtle earthiness.”
I paired the reserve with braised beef short-ribs and king oyster mushrooms along with a fennel-and-mixed-veg shepherd’s pie. (Perhaps it was the fennel in the shepherd’s pie that coaxed out the licorice in the wine.
The Reserve was absolutely perfect at cutting through the unctuousness of the short ribs, yet didn’t overpower the veggies and potatoes. Nevertheless, I think that the heavy flavors of the ribs masked some of the more delicate notes of the wine, and this led my wife to say that she liked the cab better (with the grilled steaks).
I saved a bit of the Reserve for after dinner, though, and had a few slices of Dubliner cheddar later in the evening. I was pleasantly surprised to find more depth and complexity in the Reserve with this lighter match – it would work much better than the cab with a cheese plate either before or after dinner.
Either way, both the 2008 Jack Nicklaus Napa Valley wines are well worth the price — but find them fast, because the limited production means they’ll disappear faster than an unattended green jacket.
|« Nike Golf celebrates 2011 Masters with limited edition balls, golf shoes||Jack Nicklaus releases the second vintage of his namesake wines »|