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Category Archives: Jac Cole

Review: Jac Cole Mosaico Napa Valley 2015

Regular readers on my blog may have already figured out that Jac Cole is one of my favorite winemakers. Jac has an impressive resumé with experience at a number of well known wineries. He now makes wine for NakedWines.com, and everything I’ve tasted from his line has been spectacular. Jac is largely responsible for my turning in my ABC card, after tasting his magnificent Unoaked Chardonnay, and then his equally amazing Oak Fermented Chardonnay.

In the red wine category, Jac crafts a rich, decadent blend, called Mosaico. The 2015 vintage was recently released, and I was fortunate enough to receive a sample for review. This is the third vintage of Mosaico I have tasted and reviewed. The 2013 and 2014 reviews are here and here. Like the 2014 vintage, Mosaico 2015 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot.  This is a big, bold, juicy wine. With sufficient aeration, Mosacio 2015 is drinking nicely now, and has tremendous aging potential for many years to come.  Here’s what I thought of it:

Mosaico 2015

Another Mosaico vintage, another masterpiece. Jac continues to amaze!

I tasted this over two days. On day one I decanted, took a quick sniff and sip right away, and was blown away. This is a rich, decadent blend with aromas and flavors of ripe, crushed blackberry, raspberry, black cherry, and vanilla. After about an hour of air, the flavors are deeper, with white pepper and spice notes, and the tannins are already soft and smooth.

On day two, the nose is bursting with fresh cherry with soft oaky notes. The flavors are balanced with cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and a bit of cranberry, with spicy black pepper at the back. Tannins are firm, which is expected for a big, young wine, and there is sufficient acidity to keep it bright and lively. The finish is long, with dark berry, spice, black pepper, and earthy tobacco.

Pair this with a big, juicy slab of meat on the grill, sit back, and enjoy. This is a wine that is drinking nicely now, and will improve with age over the next several years.

4.5 out of 5 stars now (92 – 94 points), improving to 5 stars (95+ points) with cellar time.

MSRP: $34.99, Angel Member Price: $17.99

If this sounds like your kind of wine, you can get it exclusively at NakedWines.com. If you’re not a member, you can follow this link to receive a voucher worth $100 off a first-time order of $160 or more. You’ll be glad you did!

Cheers!

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Review: Jac Cole Mosaico Napa Valley 2014

Regular readers know that Jac Cole has become one of my favorite winemakers. As one of the winemakers for NakedWines.com, his wines may be unknown to folks who are not Naked Wines Angels. Yet Jac knows his way around a winery. He’s been making wine in California for more than 40 years. Some better known labels for whom Jac has worked include Charles Krug, Spring Mountain, and Cliff Lede.

Jac Cole Mosaico Napa Valley 2014

I reviewed Jac’s Mosaico Sonoma Valley 2013 here, so this will, in a way, be my first vertical review. I say “in a way” because I did not taste these wines at the same time, but more importantly, these are two distinctly different wines, from different regions. The 2013 was a blend of Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The 2014 is all Napa Valley, and in addition to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, Jac added some Merlot to the blend. Still, these two wines showcase Jac’s winemaking talent in his ability to make consistently outstanding wines from varied blends, from different regions.

Despite their differences, both 2013 and 2014 are outstanding wines. Big, bold, and complex, showcasing the best of all the varietals in the blends, Jac’s Mosaico blends are fantastic now, and will continue to improve for several years in the cellar…if you can hold onto them that long!

Here’s what I thought of the Jac Cole Mosaico Napa Valley 2014, posted on NakedWines.com:

Jac, you’ve done it again! Your 2013 Mosaico Sonoma County was one of the best red blends I’ve tasted. This 2014 Mosaico Napa Valley surpasses it.

Deep purple color with a ruby rim. Aromas of blackberry, plum, and oak greet the nose. On the tongue, this is a rich, full-bodied wine with flavors of chocolate-covered cherry, ripe plum, blackberry, oak, and spice. Tannins are firm and full, but balanced with lively acidity. The finish is long and full, with dark berry, tobacco smoke, and spice.

Bearing the Napa Valley designation, the grapes may have come from all over the valley. However, the terroir in this wine is distinctive, and I would not be surprised to find there is Rutherford and/or Oakville fruit in the blend. Exquisite!

Although outstanding now, like the 2013, this wine will only improve with time. Get several, and lay some down for a year or 10.

5 out of 5 stars/hearts (95+ points)

MSRP: $34.99, Angel Price: $16.99

One of the really cool things about NakedWines.com is that Angels NW Logoget to interact directly with the winemakers on the social media site. The day after I posted my review, Jac Cole replied, and confirmed that the Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend is, in fact, from Rutherford. This is high quality stuff!

You can only get Jac Cole Mosaico Napa Valley 2014 from NakedWines.com. If you haven’t tried them yet, here’s a voucher worth $100 off a first-time order of $160 or more. You’ll be glad you did!

Review: Jac Cole Oak Fermented Chardonnay 2014

Jac Cole Oak Fermented

ABC – Anything But Chardonnay. That was me, until about a year ago. When I started my wine journey in the mid-1990’s, Big Oaky was king of Chardonnay. Just about everything coming out of California and many other regions was essentially oak juice, mixed with a little bit of fruit. A very popular style, to be sure, and it remains popular for some today, just not for me. So I abandoned Chardonnay, thinking that’s just what it tastes like. I prefer my whites with little or no oak. Don’t get me wrong, I like big oak in my wine…full-bodied red wine. As a newbie back then, I didn’t understand or appreciate the role oak plays in enhancing the flavor and texture of some white wines.

About a year ago I received, from NakedWines.com, a sample of Jac Cole’s Unoaked Chardonnay for review. I was astounded to discover that when left to itself, the Chardonnay grape is fruity and delicious! So I started to explore the varietal a bit more, including oaked styles. Further along in my journey now, I have a greater appreciation of the nuances, warmth, and flavors that oak brings to a finely crafted white wine.

Jac Cole Oak Fermented Chardonnay 2014 is just that: a finely crafted white wine. I’ve written about Jac and his wines before. Former winemaker at Charles Krug, one of my favorite Napa Valley producers, he is a highly skilled craftsman. I also had the honor to meet him about a year ago at a picnic, and he is a truly kind, humble man. This fact makes enjoying his wines even more of a pleasure.

Open Me

Always obedient when a cork speaks to me.

Here is my review, posted on the NakedWines.com website:

Once again, Jac Cole knocks it out of the park. Once, I was an ABC’er – Anything But Chardonnay. Then I tasted Jac’s Chardonnay, and I was converted.

Straw yellow on the glass. Aromas of creamy butter and golden delicious apple. On the palate, there is apple, pear, and pineapple, with soft oak. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with balanced acidity. On the finish there is green apple, caramel, and toasty oak, and butter.

We started well chilled, and enjoyed it as the wine warmed. Flavors emerged as the temperature increased. It is quite a complex wine. Paired with roasted chicken and butternut squash, it was magical!

Oak fermented, but not overly oaky. That’s Jac. He lets the delicious fruit of the grape shine, and allows the oak to enhance and soften.

ABC? You bet! Anything By Cole!!

4.5 out of 5 hearts

NakedWines.com exclusive, $13.99 member price.

Become a NakedWines.com Angel here, and order some today!

Cheers!

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Review: Jac Cole Mosaico Sonoma County 2013

Love, like wine, gets better with time.

love-wine-glass

Jac Cole’s Mosaico is a wine that certainly gets better with time! Mosaico is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (2/3) and Malbec (1/3), and is available exclusively from NakedWines.com. As impressive as it was when I first tasted it shortly after release, after eight months resting in the bottle, the wine is now amazing!

My “before and after” reviews are below.

Mosaico

3/8/15

Based on several other reviews, I decanted this Saturday afternoon in anticipation of serving it with my grilled Porterhouse on Sunday evening. Of course, I had to sneak a taste. Oh, wow! This is a full-bodied, oaky, complex red blend! A blend of two “steak” reds, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, this is gonna be sooooo good!

After more than 24 hours of air exposure, including a couple cycles back into the bottle, then back into the decanter, it’s time for a proper taste.

The nose is dried cranberry, raisin, and black cherry. There are flavors of ripe plum, black cherry, and chocolate – chocolate covered cherries! – and a hint of oak. This is a very rich wine, with thick, chewy tannins perfect for a thick, juicy steak. At this young age, the acidity is a bit brisk, but give it a few months in the bottle, and this will be a six-hearter!

4.5 out of 5 Hearts

11/9/15

It was a dark and stormy night…
The first cold, rainy night this fall in NorCal. The night called for a big, full-bodied red wine. Something that would warm our bones and soothe our souls. Something that would complement our dinner of penne pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs. Something like Jac Cole’s Mosaico.

I’ve been holding this, my last bottle of the 2013 Mosaico, for several months to see how it has developed. An enticing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, it has developed beautifully! Black cherry and soft oak on the nose. Ripe blackberry, cherry, and black pepper on the palate. Soft, velvety-smooth tannins with light acidity. Chocolate covered cherries on the finish. And exactly the warming, delicious feeling we were looking for tonight.

In my original review, I rated this 4.5 hearts, noting the tannins were chewy, and the acidity a bit brisk. Eight months has resolved this and, as I predicted back then, this is now a 6-heart wine!

NakedWines.com Exclusive. Suggested Retail Price $34.99. Angel Member Price $14.99

Like many of the winemakers at NakedWines.com, Jac Cole has an impressive CV. Here’s an excerpt from his bio at NakedWines.com: “A master winemaker who was cellar master at Stags’ Leap, and winemaker at Charles Krug and Cliff Lede Winery (back before it was called Cliff Lede).” [1]

Unfortunately, the 2013 has long since sold out. However, if you’d like to try the next vintage of Mosaico, or any of the other fantastic wines available only through NakedWines.com, click here for a voucher worth $100 off a first-time order of $160 or more. Satisfaction guaranteed!

[1] https://us.nakedwines.com/winemakers/jac-cole.htm