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Dutschke Shiraz Barossa Valley St. Jakobi 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

The Shiraz grapes for our "St. Jakobi" come from the vines planted in 1975 by Oscar's son Ken Semmler (my uncle) on this family property. We've been blessed by having this vineyard in a region that consistently produces quality fruit year after year. The Shiraz from this special patch of vines typically gives us wine that is rich spice, dark cherry and chocolate characters with great structure for longevity in the bottle. In 2005 we harvested the Shiraz block on 2 occasions. First picking half of the crop on the 18th of March, starting on the eastern side of the block, and then 9 days later on the 27th March harvesting the balance of the fruit on the western side. In doing this, we pick across the flavour-ripening spectrum resulting in more complexity than what we would find if we were to harvest all the fruit on the one day. The wine has then matured in a combination of both French and American oak hogsheads, supplied by 9 different coopers. After 20 months I combine the wines from those better barrels to make a wine of complexity that shows the full potential of the Shiraz fruit. We trust you'll enjoy it!

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Wine Dutschke Pty Ltd:
Once upon a time around the end of the 19th century, this 72 acre patch of real estate included only a few acres of vineyard, with most of the area being dedicated to cropping and dairy cattle. At the start of the 1930's Oscar Semmler, Wayne's grandfather bought the block and more vineyard was planted, but it remained primarily a grazing area for dairy purposes. Oscar's Dad referred to the dirt... Read more
Once upon a time around the end of the 19th century, this 72 acre patch of real estate included only a few acres of vineyard, with most of the area being dedicated to cropping and dairy cattle. At the start of the 1930's Oscar Semmler, Wayne's grandfather bought the block and more vineyard was planted, but it remained primarily a grazing area for dairy purposes. Oscar's Dad referred to the dirt as a "wonder of creation", a fact borne out by the wine now coming from it. The vineyard of that time, while reflecting the fortified market of the day, did not predict the potential to produce the rich varietal flavours found in current production. Oscar's son Ken returned to the Barossa Valley in the early 1970's after first spreading his wings as a fighter pilot with the RAAF, dodging anti-aircraft fire above the jungles of Vietnam. Then in 1975, the transition began with Ken starting the planting of the beloved Shiraz, and it is this first area of Shiraz which provides the precious component of Dutschke Wines. Currently forty five acres are planted with Shiraz making up one third of that area, the balance including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Most of the fruit gets passed onto other Barossa winemakers. It's rather fascinating to note that all varieties have performed well, both in an analytic sense and the all important consumer taste test! In 1990 Ken and Wayne decided to keep some of these grapes for themselves and start producing wine of their own from this vineyard under the brand "WillowBend". Production never intended to be a big time operation, with the bulk of the fruit each year being delivered to the Krondorf and Mildara Blass Winemakers. Then with the 1998 vintage release, interest from the US led to the name being changed to Dutschke Wines and production for future vintages was revved up to support this market and many others to follow, not to mention an increasing number of thirsty mail order customers! Read less

The Shiraz grapes for our "St. Jakobi" come from the vines planted in 1975 by Oscar's son Ken Semmler (my uncle) on this family property. We've been blessed by having this vineyard in a region that consistently produces quality fruit year after year. The Shiraz from this special patch of vines typically gives us wine that is rich spice, dark cherry and chocolate characters with great structure for longevity in the bottle. In 2005 we harvested the Shiraz block on 2 occasions. First picking half of the crop on the 18th of March, starting on the eastern side of the block, and then 9 days later on the 27th March harvesting the balance of the fruit on the western side. In doing this, we pick across the flavour-ripening spectrum resulting in more complexity than what we would find if we were to harvest all the fruit on the one day. The wine has then matured in a combination of both French and American oak hogsheads, supplied by 9 different coopers. After 20 months I combine the wines from those better barrels to make a wine of complexity that shows the full potential of the Shiraz fruit. We trust you'll enjoy it!

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