Home > Australia, Daily Glass, Experiences, Shiraz > Daily Glass: 17 Years Old Beauty

Daily Glass: 17 Years Old Beauty

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dutschke St. Jakobi Shiraz Barossa ValleyAbsolute majority of the 17 years old are beautiful. Well, at least when it comes to the people. With the wines, this can be a different story. 17 years old in the wine terms is quite an age – some of those 17 years old are slender and muscular, and some are flabby, tired, and barely stand on their feet. And the beauty of the wine is that you can’t know how the wine will be – until you get the bottle opened.

I have to admit that I had no expectations before opening this bottle of 1998 Shiraz from Australia. Aged Australian wines are hard to come by in US, thus I have very little experience with that class of wines. And having no expectations around the wines is generally good, as it often saves you from disappointment. However, I’m sure that you deduced from the title of this post that there was nothing disappointing about my experience.

Dutschke family owned the parcel of land with a few vineyards on it in Barossa valley in Australia since the end of the 19th century. In the late 1900 the grape plantings increased, with most of the grapes been sold to the other wineries. The first wines under the Dutschke name were produced only starting in 1990. Which makes the wine which I opened today one of the early wines produced at the winery.

As I opened the bottle of the 1998 Dutschke St. Jakobi Shiraz Barossa Valley (15% ABV, $25?), the first nice observation was perfect condition of the cork – not a sign of age. The color was very dark garnet – again, not a sign of age. And the smell – wow – concentrated fresh berries, lavender, sandalwood – bright and uplifting. Then the best part – the wine needed no breathing time. Pour, sip and enjoy the exuberance of the fresh berries, savory herbs, dark power, perfect structure, clean acidity and perfect balance. If I wouldn’t check the label, I would’ve never known the wine was 15% ABV – overall, it was perfectly integrated and perfectly enjoyable (Drinkability: 8+/9-). And then the wine just was.

Wish you lots of small pleasures this holiday season. Cheers!


  1. December 22, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Aged Barossa Shiraz is always special and you picked a great vintage, 1998 is considered to be one of the better vintages of the past few decades. Glad you enjoyed it and at very reasonable price, will ensure that I have a few other aged vintages for you to try if you ever make it to Singapore!

    • talkavino
      December 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Good to know that it was great vintage for Barossa Shiraz – need to try to stock up on those then as this is birth year of my son :). And now you making me want to visit Singapore even more!!!

      • December 22, 2015 at 6:42 pm

        It was also a good vintage for the Coonawarra, so more to chose from!

  2. December 24, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Interesting that it had a cork, as they have been converting to screwcap for a while Down Under. I recently openened up a Produttori del Barbaresco Riserva Moccagatta 1996, and it was still very youthful. That was quite a surprise as well.

    • talkavino
      December 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Not all wineries in Australia use screw top, so I was not that much surprised 🙂 Also I think corks make come back, especially with appearance of engineered corks with controlled oxygen intake. By the way, I would be surprised if your Barbaresco would not be fresh – my expectation of both Barolo and Barbaresco can last forever – especially the Riserva level.

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