The big often get a bashing, recently a small family wine producer (Crittenden) based in the Victorian region of Mornington Peninsular started a campaign against Woolworths regarding their brand Crittenden & Co. The patriarch of the family, Garry Crittenden, said he was getting calls and e-mails because consumers were confusing his wines, $20 and above, with the Woolworths under $5 brand.
The media, especially the wine scribes, came out on mass with Garry’s hard-luck story and berated Woolworths as the bully.
Woolworths had full right to use the Crittenden name - in fact they had use of it before Garry registered his Crittenden name. Woolworths very generously said they would withdraw the brand as soon as stock was sold through but this would take several months as it’s a big brand for them.
Wine scribes and journalists became outraged at Woolworths, delighting in the little guy taking on the bully story. Few considered the right and wrong of the issue and that Woolworths was technically in the right. To my knowledge no one wrote a follow up story of how well the giant behaved.
Hence this one wine review, made by a giant (Pernod Ricard) and sold by another (Dan Murphy’s) for around $8. Only two such large companies could combine to bring a wine of this quality to the total Australian population. Either accept these bargains or pay closer to $20 for a Riesling of no better quality.
Jacob's Creek South Eastern Australia Riesling 2013: The 2012 JC Riesling was a super star and I, and many others in the wine scribing business, rated it very highly. I even picked it as the best value/quality wine of the year. This was not based on points but on the fact that the few times I had to make recommendations to friends or buy a white wine for myself, JC riesling 2012 was the choice. It really says something when someone such as me, who gets a lot of free wine, puts his hand in his pocket to buy everyday drinking wine.
The question for the 2013 is, will it match this very high benchmark the 2012 set? Overall yes, although I think it is not as defined but, hell, why nitpick, it is a wine that knocks many pissy NZ Sauvignon Blancs into the preverbal cocked hat. 93 points and very good value at under $10 and I will buy it for large gatherings where wine is needed and put up with the sneer of, “oh Jacob's Creek”.