Jacob's Creek winemakers are keen to produce more wine styles part-aged in barrels previously used for Scotch and Irish whiskies.

Jacob’s Creek owner Pernod Ricard launched its ‘double barrel’ Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in Australia in July this year, priced at $25-a-bottle.

After spending between 12 and 18 months in French and American oak hogsheads, the Cabernet and Shiraz is then finished in barrels that housed Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky respectively for eight to 12 weeks.

Initial commercial success in Australia means the company is now looking to expand the concept. ‘We are already talking about whether we can do something with whites, like Chardonnay or a Pinot Gris style,’ said Rebekah Richardson, whites and sparkling winemaker for Jacob’s Creek.

Decanter.com understands that Pernod is also considering launching the wines overseas, including in the UK.
If it does, labelling rules mean they would likely have to be called wine-based products, rather than actual wines.

‘It’s not like we are adding whisky to the wines, we are just adding some nuances,’ said Richardson. ‘We looked at brandy barrels as well, but what we found with the Scotch and Irish ones was that they actually softened the wines,’ she added. Both the Cabernet and Shiraz are 14.4% abv and current production is around 80,000 litres.

All of the barrels are understood to have been sourced internally from Pernod Ricard’s spirits business, which includes Jameson Ireland and Chivas Regal in Scotland.

Written by Chris Mercer