Written by Saša Špiranec
Jakob is one of the most dependable and most valuable domestic wine brands. The winery is owned by Ilija Zdravko Jakobović and has never delivered a disappointing quality of any of its labels in their 12-year existence, a characteristic we respect more than any other. Their panache is called Jakob Cuvee and is composed of three Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Older harvests such as 2012 still contained a percentage of Syrah as well. Along with the main label they also offer a sparkling wine, rose , Syrah and some other wines, with a common quality of being at the very top of the domestic offer.
The first bottle in the winery was filled in 1999, when it was still a hobby for friends, while the company was founded in 2006, when the real history begins. Their first appearances on tables did not go unnoticed, as it was an unusual presenter with just one wine bottle on the table, but a rather good bottle. Final confirmation of a winemaker who knows what he’s doing came 5-6 years later with the Jakob Cuvee 2009, a truly exceptional wine which served as a cornerstone for the entire brand. That harvest brought them together into the elite production of red wines in Croatia, where they remain still today.
Grapes for Jakob wines are grown in Brodski Stupnik, a location declared by retired professor Mirošević as the most ideal wine region for red Bordeaux varieties in the Croatian continent. Close to his vineyard is the birthplace of red Naugal, the best wine of Davor Zdjelarević from his best days, so it seems the professor’s claim is not unfounded. Ilija Zdravko Jakobović is careful not to deteriorate the hard-earned status of his wines, so he wisely skips poor harvests, which is why we will never come across a 2010or 2014 harvest. Those grapes ended up in a cheaper line or bag-in-box, which holds those grapes at the top of their quality category, as it is one of the best domestic vineyards.
Here is a small vertical of the Jakob Cuvee label, in order to check the development of the wines which are already off the market and those which have just arrived and justify the investment. Wines costing above 100 kuna should all have aging potential, as the money is not negligible. The Jakob Cuvee justified its reputation completely and judging by this tasting it is currently one of the most viable investments in wine with a collection value on the domestic market.
JAKOB CUVÉE 2011. Price not available, 91/100
Although off the market, this wine’s ripeness is still in the adolescent phase and was actually consumed too early. The nose is dominated by spices originating from wood, such as tobacco, oak and cedar with a background of forest fruit and dark chocolate. Lively in the mouth, breathes freshness, with lovely and smooth tannins, the same spice style in the aftertaste with a mildly sour cherry ending. Long lingering, completely dry and does not show any signs of age. Even the colour is completely dark and opaque. Of exceptionally high quality and very long life potential, but without a perfect finesse as the next two harvests, due to a certain dose of roughness, probably caused by the type of age of wood it was aged in. In style very reminiscent of northern Rhone type Hermitage.
JAKOB CUVÉE 2012. Price 130 kn (Vrutak), 93/100
We have written of this wine before and listed it among the best domestic Bordeaux blends where it still belongs today. Has more ripeness and concentration than the previous harvest, as well as the one after. Scent is dominated by non-fruit aromas, typical of Bordeaux high class meant for aging. Dried tobacco, oak, dark chocolate and black currant are the pungent aromas followed by a dozen fine spice and fruit ingredients. In the mouth the main attribute is the concentration. On the other hand it could be said is possesses an elegance contributed to by firm tannins and a certain liveliness of taste. The balance between fullness and elegance, between fruitiness and spiciness, between zest and juiciness is simply perfect. This is a wine for the finest dinners with aged red meat in fine sauce. Its lifespan extends a minimum of a dozen years after the harvest.
JAKOB CUVÉE 2013. Price 130 kn (Vrutak), 92+/100
This harvest is the closest to a classic Bordeaux blend of the left bank type Graves from all of those produced by the Jakob Winery under this label so far. Elegant and more aromatic than the previous two, with much more fruitiness of forest fruit on the nose and more freshness in the mouth. This freshness places it in the same style class as prestigious Istrian reds of Bordeaux varieties such as Degrassi Cabernets. The striking aroma is black currant, followed by vanilla spices, cedar, dark chocolate and finally sour cherries. Taste is excellent, complex, completely dry and fresh. Good and pronounced, but ripe tannins, leaves a wonderful aftertaste of black currant and herbal notes. Wine with a collection value and actually very favourable price. Wines from this rank from renowned wine regions coast up to several times more.
Translated from Jutarnji List.