Dutschke Wines Willow Bend 2005 is a star among the blends from Australia. It's warm and long, structured and yet generous in its fruit impact. Chocolate, blackberries and red fruits are all in Dutschke wines Willowbend 2005. The high ratings and limited quantities available are a testament to the Dutschke wines WillowBend 2005. Aged for 20 months in new and older American and French Oak barrels, this single vineyard wine is the result of a unique three grape blend. The Merlot (44%) and Shiraz (29%) provide the ripe sweet fruit palate and the Cabernet Sauvignon (27%) gives structure and tannin support. Drink now through 2014.
Dutschke WillowBend is where it all started for Dutschke wines. In 1990 the first red blend of Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet blend was sold by Dutschke under the WillowBend label. The idea was to produce a consistently full and flavorsome wine by blending the varieties that perform best in their vineyard. WillowBend 2005 is produced from Merlot vines planted in 1980, Cabernet planted in 1978 and Shiraz in 1975. The Merlot (44%) and Shiraz (29%) provide the ripe sweet fruit palate and the Cabernet Sauvignon (27%) gives structure and tannin support. After years in the bottle the older Dutschke Willow Bend wines have shown great complex characters while still maintaining their fresh fruit flavors. WillowBend is typically a very good wine to drink now or to lie down for a few years to complex through bottle aging. Around the end of the 19th century, Dutschke's 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 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 flavors found in current production. Oscar's son Ken returned to the Barossa Valley in the early 1970's. In 1975 the transition began with Ken starting the planting of the beloved Shiraz, and it is this first area of Shiraz that 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, but the best grapes stay at Dutschke to make their prized wines. 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 Dustschke 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 United States 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 Australians. They are now considered one of the premier wine makers in the Barossa Valley of Australia.
RATINGS: 92 Points - Editor's Choice Award - Wine Enthusiast
91 Points - The Wine Advocate
90 Points - Wine Front
“It's warm and long, structured and yet generous in its fruit impact. One taste and I was diving back for more. Dust, chocolate, blackberries, tar, it's all here and it's all good. - 90pts” - Campbell Mattinson - Wine Front Australia
Dutschke Willow Bend 2005 Information
Winemaker: Wayne Dutschke
Vineyard: Ken Semmler's St. Jakobi Vineyard
Region: Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Harvest Date: Shiraz 18th March, Cabernet Sauvignon 28th March and Merlot 1st April 2005
Varietal Percentages: 44% Merlot, 29% Shiraz, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Oak Maturaton: 20 months in New and Older American & French Hogsheads
Cellaring potential: 5-8 years