2017 St. Jakobi Shiraz
The grapes for the Dutschke “St. Jakobi” Shiraz come from a small 5-acre (32 rows) planting of Shiraz vines on Ken and Helen Semmler’s St Jakobi vineyard, planted by Ken (Uncle Ken) in 1975. This special planting of vineyard consistently produces high quality fruit year after year and gives us wine that is rich in spice, dark cherry and chocolate characters with fullness and wonderful structure for longevity in the bottle.
The cool and fine conditions of autumn, 2017, lead to a later harvest than usual. Over many years we’ve picked the 75 block Shiraz in late February to early March. In 2017 it was around four weeks later, during the first week of April. Harvesting took place on two separate occasions, starting on the western side on the 4th of April and finishing with the Eastern side on the 6th of April. On receipt in to the winery, the grapes were destemmed to three open top fermenters, allowing us to conduct three ferments independent of one another, providing the opportunity to utilise different fermentation techniques and impart different characteristics.
In the first ferment we used a good amount of whole bunches and ran the ferment at a lower temperature and over 10 days, while the next two ferments were fermented at warmer temperatures. One of these ferments contained some whole bunches, while the other had none. Both fermented through to dryness over 12-14 days. After basket pressing, all three parcels were matured separately in a mixture of French and American Hogsheads, supplied to us by 8 different coopers. With the combination of east vs west in the vineyard, different fermentation techniques and a plethora of barrels, the resultant blend shows a range of interesting flavours. There are mouth filing generous dark berried fruit flavours with a fine, spicy drying grape and oak tannic finish. The full potential of the Shiraz from this “precious patch” of dirt is on display.
We trust you’ll enjoy it!
|Vineyard:||Ken & Helen Semmler’s St. Jakobi Vineyard on the “1975 Block Shiraz”|
|Region:||Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia|
|Harvest date:||4th & 6th of April 2017|
|Oak maturation:||18 months in new and older French and American Hogsheads|
|Bottling date:||November 2018|
|Cellaring potential:||Drink now or mature for many more years|
93 points, James Halliday Wine Companion 2021
94 points, Tyson Stelzer, Barossa Mag Spring 2020
The cooler years define a more elegant and contemplative style in the Barossa, and Wayne Dutschke has responded with sensitivity in his most famous wine. It rises to the season in red-fruited confidence, at once juicy and vibrant and yet elegant and calm. Sensitivity in oak and tannin management are the key to balance in such a vintage, and Dutschke’s intuitive mastery has delivered with harmony and peace. It’s no blockbuster, but it’s downright gorgeous, and I know what I’d prefer every time.