2017 Shiraz Cabernet Merlot

2017 Uncle Shiraz Cabernet Merlot

Way back in 1990, Uncle Ken and I produced our first dry red blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot and labelled it “WillowBend”. Our idea was to produce a consistently full and flavoursome wine by blending the varieties that perform best on Ken and Helen’s’ St. Jakobi Vineyard, the property previously owned by my grandfather, and Ken’s father, Oscar Semmler.

These days the same red blend continues but is now named “Uncle”, as it is Uncle Ken, along with his wife Helen, who nurture the vines that produce the grapes which make their way into this blend. The 2017 Uncle is a mix of Shiraz (57%), Cabernet (37%) and Merlot (6%). These three grape varieties come together to provide a round, soft, red berry fruit palate with fine oak and fruit tannin support.

Having produced this red blend for many years, it has always proven to be a wine that can be enjoyed as a young wine, but is consistently reliable in developing rich and complex characters during medium to long term cellaring.

We trust you’ll enjoy it!

Winemaker: Wayne Dutschke
Vineyard: Ken & Helen Semmler’s St. Jakobi Vineyard
Region: Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Harvest date: Shiraz 4th, 6th & 7th April, Cabernet 20th March and Merlot 21st March 2017
Varietal percentages: 57% Shiraz, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.5%
Oak maturation: 16 month in new and older French and American oak hogsheads
Bottling date: September 2018
Cellaring potential: Drink now or cellar for more complexity


90 points, James Halliday Wine Companion 2020

A trio of reds in the blend: shiraz, cabernet and merlot. It’s leafy fresh with licorice, soy sauce, coffee essence in the mix of ripe and some tart fruit. It holds its own.

93 points, Tyson Stelzer Barossa Mag Spring 2019

Wayne and uncle Ken have been making this blend of Shiraz and Cabernet with a dash of Merlot from their legendary St Jakobi vineyard for almost 30 years now, and this is as bright, crunchy, characterful and gorgeous as ever. A slightly cooler season in the Barossa has elevated its fragrance, spicy and tangy red berry crunch, without perturbing its black fruits depth and impressive persistence. Bargain.

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