Schwarz Wine Co Thiele Rd Grenache 2016


2019 Halliday Wine Companion – James Halliday – 1 March 2018

Hand-picked from the family block in Bethany planted ’41, open-fermented with 20% whole bunches, foot-stomped at the end of fermentation and left on skins for a further 15 days, basket-pressed to used French puncheons and a small tank, bottled Oct ’17. Very light, clear crimson; this is Barossa Valley grenache on its best behaviour, with a glorious abundance of sweet red fruits in a gossamer net of the finest tannins. It emphatically doesn’t show any sign of underripe fruit. A wine for rejoicing.

Rated: 96/100 | Drink by: 2026

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James Halliday’s Review: The economical name is appropriate for a business that started with 1 tonne of grapes making two hogsheads of wine in 2001. Shiraz was purchased from Jason Schwarz’s parents’ vineyard in Bethany, the vines planted in 1968; the following year half a tonne of grenache was added, once again purchased from the parents. In ’05, grape sale agreements with another (larger) winery were terminated, freeing up 1.8ha of shiraz and 0.8ha of grenache.

From this point on things moved more quickly: in ’06 Jason formed a partnership (Biscay Road Vintners) with Peter Schell of Spinifex, giving them total control over production. Jason Schwarz’s wines taste of the vineyards where the grapes are grown. And he’s got a good eye for finding great vineyards… both Jason’s father and his grandfather were state pruning champions, he grew up among the vines on the family property at Bethany and he’s worked alongside some of the Barossa’s best-known grape growers and winemakers. A shed-load of experience has taught him that once you find great fruit you look after it with a light touch. “I like the fruit to speak for itself,” Jason says.

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