Dutschke ‘Oscar Semmler’ Shiraz 2017
Oscar Semmler made a lifetime contribution to the success of the Barossa Valley‘s wine industry, having held positions of Chairman with both the Barossa Co-Operative Winery and the Australian Wine and Brandy Association during the 1960 and 1970s.
We are proud to dedicate this, our best structured and most flavoursome Shiraz, to Oscar, a man held in high esteem for his enthusiasm, innovation and encouragement that he gave to others.
Shiraz from the St. Jakobi Vineyard 5-acre “1975 Block” matures in barrels for up to 22 months and during this time we regularly taste each barrel and make note of the best structured and most mouth filling parcels. Towards the end of 2017 the selected barrels were chosen for the “Oscar”, our reserve label for Dutschke representing “the best of the vintage” from the St. Jakobi Vineyard.
In 2017 the 75 Block Shiraz was harvested on two separate occasions, picking the western 16 rows on the 4th of April and going back into the vineyard on the 6th of April to complete harvesting the 14 rows to the east. The two separate parcels were fermented individually for 10-12 days in stainless steel fermenters under our shed verandah, before being drained, basket pressed and then transferred to oak hogsheads to complete the secondary fermentation. Post malo-lactic fermentation all but 2 of the pressings barrels were transferred (lightly racked) to tank. The next day the wine was returned to the same French oak barrels and left to mature for a further 19 months. The 2 hogsheads of pressings remained on less for the full 20 months.
The Dutschke 2017 Oscar Semmler Shiraz is a full bodied, ripe and generously fruit filled wine, showing mid palate sweet fruit flavours characteristic of dark cherry and black berries. The spicy French oak characters and fine grain grape tannins complement the round fruit focused palate concentration. The finish is long, with firm tannins and clean acidity. It’s a wine that will further soften and develop with careful cellaring.
96 points, James Halliday Wine Companion 2022
St Jakobi Vineyard. Lyndoch may not be as revered as the fabled parishes of the northern and western Barossa, but this wine alone is a statement that it should be held in equal if not higher regard. Wayne Dutschke exemplifies that wonderful Barossa juxtaposition of sweet, ripe black fruit density and the refinement of crunchy definition, freshness and violet-infused detail. I’ve been avidly following, buying and cellaring Oscar for decades and I cannot recall such detail, mineral tannin finesse and undeterred persistence.