80 Block
2016 Merlot

2016 80 Block Merlot

In the early 1980s Barossa grape growers were introduced to a new grape variety called Merlot. Although Merlot was already a world recognised variety and responsible for the makeup of some of the most premium wines, up until then it had not been planted here in the Barossa. With that, Uncle Ken (Semmler) being somewhat of a pioneer of the day decided to put it to the test by planting a small patch on the St. Jakobi Vineyard in 1980.

We’re excited about producing a straight varietal Merlot from the St. Jakobi Vineyard. It’s a variety that is typically used for blending with its big brother Cabernet Sauvignon, but can also produce wonderful wine on its own. Deep in colour, with distinctive perfumed dark berry fruit, hints of tomato leaf aromatics and mouth filling flavours. With good use of oak one can find the resulting wine to be rich and complex.

The 2016 vintage brings our sixth release of 80 Block Merlot. It was an early vintage for us at Dutschke with most varieties ripening at once, but like most years in the Barossa was a wonderful year for producing great red wine. The 80 Block Merlot from the St. Jakobi Vineyard is no exception.

We trust you’ll enjoy it!

Winemaker: Wayne Dutschke
Vineyard: Ken & Helen Semmler’s “80 Block” Merlot on the St Jakobi Vineyard
Region: Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Harvest date: 18th of February 2016
Alcohol: 14.5%
Oak maturation: 18 months in new and older French and American oak hogsheads
Bottling date: September 2017
Cellaring potential: Enjoy now or as a more complex wine with further cellaring for many years to come

92 points, Tyson Stelzer, Barossa Mag Spring 2019

Capturing the fragrant perfume, juicy berry fruit core and vibrant acid line of varietal Merlot in the context of the generosity and depth that define the Barossa is no simple task. Wayne Dutschke has done it again, and conjured one of the best and more affordable Merlots in the region. I don’t often drink Aussie Merlot flying solo (the Merlot flying solo, that is, not me!), but I like this wine a lot.

Download Tasting Notes