Someday, when we have a store in the Napa Valley and then later again when we have one in the South of France (give us 20 years for that one), we will expect to have a friendly, neighborhood winery. Never would we have thought that we would have one so close to our store in downtown San Francisco. But a mere 6 blocks away from our downtown store is the global HQ of JAQK Cellars, a newcomer to the wine industry. For those without a gambling addiction, JAQK stands for Jack-Ace-Queen-King, and as such, the entire line has a gaming/poker/card-shark attitude about it.
The Black 22 ($31) is made primarily of grapes from Paso Robles in the Central Coast of California. While it was a little acidic at first, it became much better as it opened up. The website says it has aromas of blackberry, cassis, cherry, and toasted nuts. Who am I to argue?
The High Roller ($70) is their flagship wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon – made 100% of Napa Valley grapes. The wine was definitely more smooth from the get-go, and like the Black 22, evolved nicely as it had a chance to breathe. The folks that joined me in the tasting immediately noticed the heftiness of the bottle, which I later discovered was an Imperiale custom-made for JAQK Cellars in Italy.
The bottle is just one example of the lengths to which JAQK Cellars has gone to attend to every last single detail. The wine itself, the packaging, the website, the gift sets — not only have no corners been cut, but it seems as though no expense has been spared. The company makes 8 different wines (4 Napa Valley wines, 4 "California" wines), and while I can only speak to the 2 I have personally tasted, I eagerly anticipate trying the rest of the line.
JAQK Cellars will be hosting an event at our San Francisco store in the very near future…be on the lookout.