Reserve Shiraz wine Dutschke Oscar Semmler Shiraz Reserve 2003 is the most flavorful wine produced by Dutschke. The 2003 Oscar Semmler Shiraz is a standout by it's fullness and almost juicy flavors of plum and red berry fruit, giving mid-palate sweetness. Spicy French oak characters support this sweet fruit mid palate concentration. The finish is long, highlighted by fruit, clean acidity and soft drying tannin. The best structured and most mouth filling parcels of Shiraz from the St Jakobi vineyard are blended together each year for Oscar Semmler Shiraz. The 2003 Oscar Semmler is the reserve Shiraz for Dutschke, representing the best of the vintage from the 2003 block of Shiraz. This special reserve selection of Shiraz grapes were harvested from Dutschke's vineyard on two separate occasions over the period of 9 days. The must fermented for 7 days in open fermenters, before transferring to new, and one year old, French Oak Hogsheads to complete fermentation. The reserve Shiraz wine was then matured for an additional 24 months in these same French oak barrels.
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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 - WineSpectator
"Dark and juicy, a dense mouthful of berry and spice flavors, picking up an earthy note as the finish persists impressively against ultrafine tannins. Has intense power but it ends up being graceful. Drink now through 2013. 300 cases imported."
89 points - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
"A wine that merits interest, the flagship cuvee 2003 Shiraz Oscar Semmler is a smoky, peppery, woody, black fruit-scented, medium-bodied, tightly-knit, elegant offering that lacks personality and soul. It is a good, but hardly inspiring Barossa Shiraz to consume over the next decade. This line-up of Dutschke wines was less impressive than I had hoped. Offerings that did not make the grade because of a lack of texture and monolithic, unexpressive personalities include the 2004 Shiraz Brick Road, 2003 WillowBend Proprietary Red, and the 2003 Shiraz St. Jakobi."
89 points - WineFront Monthly
94 point - Tyson Stelzer - Wine Press
94 points - James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2007
Dutschke Oscar Semmler 2003 Shiraz Information:
Winemaker: Wayne Dutschke
Vineyard: Ken Semmler's St. Jakobi Lyndoch Vineyard
Region: Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Harvest Date: 27th February and 7th March 2003
Oak Maturaton: 24 months in new 1 year old French Hogsheads