Schwarz Wine Co. / Barossa Valley, Sa

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Fine Tuned, Minimally Handled Wines From Enviable Old Vine Sources

Find great fruit. Handle minimally to allow full expression of vintage and place. A deceptively simple philosophy to raising some phenomenal wines.

Schwarz Wine Co has for some time been at the forefront of contemporary Barossa winemaking, crafting site and vintage transparent wines of perfume, structure, and finely etched detail. The family vineyards provide the backbone of the label, though Jason Schwarz’s relationships with talented growers are paramount to an enviable cache of old vine fruit sources. Touch the fruit lightly, don’t pick too late, keep oak use in check – the house style here is pure and vibrant.

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  • Schwarz Chenin Blanc 2019

    $ 23.00 incl. GST

    The lone white of the stable, very much in keeping with Jason’s approach of freshness and drinkability, weighing in at a most modest 12% alcohol.  Gentle, crisp and refreshing, this release sees some mouthfilling texture. Green apples, honeysuckle, hay and pear, with nice length and concentration. Felix is calling this as the best release of the last 5 years of this wine, particularly delicious.

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  • Schwarz Rosé 2020

    $ 23.00 incl. GST

    Rosé – yes please!  A blend of Mataro and Grenache, with a Provençal salmon shade and similar level of dryness.  Blood orange, red berries, a little amaro/Campari spice, and an attractive, powdery mineral edge. Always a wine which holds its own in any rosé lineup, and proof that, in the words of the winery, not everything from 2020 is terrible!

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  • Schwarz Shiraz 2018

    $ 28.00 incl. GST

    A fresh and perfumed nose, violets the leading impression over musk and blue fruit.  The palate is rounded with great shape and feel in the mouth, and while the acid profile adds freshness and a precision to the flavours, the wine is by no means austere or lacking generosity.  Flavour-wise it’s pretty classic Barossa Shiraz, full of black fruits, dried herbs and earth.  Works as a young drinker or will certainly reward a few years down.

    9 months in barrel, tank tightened and seasoned with 10% whole-bunch. This is an easy going Shiraz that plays the reductive card of tension well, without any imposition on lilac scents that careen to nori, smoked salumi, tapenade, and beetroot puree. Tightly strung across the finish.”  92 points, Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2021

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  • Schwarz The Grower GSM 2019

    $ 29.00 incl. GST

    52% Grenache, 42% Shiraz, 6% Mataro, from a number of different Barossa sub regions and growers with long-standing relationships with Schwarz.  One of our most perpetually crowd pleasing wines whatever one’s tastes – medium bodied, fresh, bright fruited with a sweet/savoury/earthy pull, super versatile.

    “Always a good drink, and no change here. Blackberry, raspberry, a little char, liquorice and salted beef. Medium-bodied, some grainy tannin, meaty and saline to close. Easy to like.” 91 points, Gary Walsh, www.winefront.com.au

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  • Schwarz Meta Grenache 2018

    $ 35.00 incl. GST

    Hand picked, wild yeast, 91% whole bunch, unfined and unfiltered, 13.8% alcohol.  220 dozen produced.

    Here’s where things start to get a bit more serious.  Drop whatever pre-conceptions you may have about Barossa Grenache – this variety is perhaps the best showcase of Schwarz’s precise and fine tuned style.  The paler colour gives hint to the whole bunch make, with stemmy impressions weaving through the lifted nose of red berries, rhubarb, cherry and spice.  Deserves comparisons to Pinot Noir as an aromatic, crisp and textured food wine.

    “That’s a whole lot of whole bunch. It shows in the wine. It hits you with smoky, nutty, spicy flavour, challengingly so, though it then backs it with Turkish delight and pure plum flavours. It yells at you but then lets you off easy. It does though remain grabby and light. It looks a little murky in the glass, which I don’t mind at all. This is grenache as food. Pulpy, savoury, smoked. You wouldn’t think it’s to everyone’s taste but who cares. It works.” 92+ points, Campbell Mattinson, www.winefront.com.au

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  • Schwarz Meta Mataro 2018

    $ 35.00 incl. GST

    Hand picked, wild yeast, 26% whole bunch, unfined and unfiltered.  13.8% alc. 208dozen produced.

    Big time aromatics here, varietal black cherry over pepper and some alluring meaty/bacon character.  An array of black fruits on the palate, a sweet and saline interplay, brambly even but ultra fresh.  Maintains fineness of persona over so much fruit power, with a fresh acid driven finish over fine ripe tannin and stony mineral.  Wines such as this show just what an exciting and pleasurable variety this can be.

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  • Schwarz Meta Shiraz 2018

    $ 35.00 incl. GST

    Hand picked, wild yeast, 24% whole bunch, unfined and unfiltered.  14.3% alcohol.  330 dozen produced.

    Lucid is the theme for this release – structured, perfumed, a lovely line of fruit. Plums, blue and black berries on the nose which continue to the palate, over coffee and a definite violet floral note.  Tannins are fine and ripe which keep things fresh and moreish, not a palate overwhelming style by any means.  Power and freshness here, as is this house’s theme.

    “Very deep red/purple colour. The bouquet is lovely: deep, ripe, concentrated and fragrant. Superb richness and intensity of palate flavour; supple and deep, with deliciousness and concentration that will ensure it ages superbly. Generous oak in balance. The aftertaste lingers on and on.”  95/100, Huon Hooke, The Real Review

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  • Schwarz Nitschke Block Shiraz 2018

    $ 46.00 incl. GST

    The wine where it all began – Jason approached his father to buy some of his Nitschke Block fruit in 2001, producing two hogsheads.  This dry grown vineyard produces intense and clear flavours, maximized here by smart winemaking and a restrained use of oak.

    “All the good stuff: dry-grown and fermented under the aegis of wild yeast, a smattering of whole-bunch seasoning )25%), French oak (20% new) conferring poise, freshness and authority. As far as Barossa Shiraz goes, this is benchmark. Plush but nicely taut. A stream of boysenberry fruit and violet scents sashay to a samba of thyme, tapenade and smoked meats, nicely avoiding any sense of reduction, or clunk jam. This is smart. Very.” 96  points, Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2021

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  • Schwarz Thiele Road Grenache 2017

    $ 46.00 incl. GST

    Thiele Road Grenache has been produced since vintage 2002, a foundation wine of Schwarz, and a vineyard owned by the family.  The gnarled old vines were planted in 1941, with the vineyard in the Bethany sub region.

    Stylistically, this continues the theme of outside the normal box Grenache, its lines more sharply drawn, though with a little more meat on the bones than Meta.

    “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.” 96 points, James Halliday

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  • Schwarz Thiele Road Grenache 2016

    $ 46.00 incl. GST

    Thiele Road Grenache has been produced since vintage 2002, a foundation wine of Schwarz, and a vineyard owned by the family.  The gnarled old vines were planted in 1941, with the vineyard in the Bethany sub region.

    Stylistically, this continues the theme of outside the normal box Grenache, its lines more sharply drawn, though with a little more meat on the bones than Meta.

    “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.” 96 points, James Halliday

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  • Schwarz The Schiller Shiraz 2017

    $ 74.00 incl. GST

    Jason stumbled on this plot of 400 Shiraz vines planted by Carl August Otto Schiller, dated to around 1881.  Earmarked for bulldozing, Jason’s offer to buy the fruit would see these ancient vines remain in the ground.

    Too often, winemakers throttle their ‘reserve’ or flagship wine with excessive oak or extraction – not here.  The nose throws up pure aromas of turned earth and hay, just hinting to the fruit lurking within.  In the mouth, the body is sloshy rather than thick, it oddly dances between intense concentration yet feels nimble.  It’s an array of black fruits – berries and plums, with a lick of coffee/mocha and further earthen flavours revealing through a finish of magnificent proportions. Purity of fruit remains paramount throughout, the full flight of concentration that only ancient vines can muster.  Barossa Shiraz in all its glory.

    “Sourced from a vineyard at St, Hallett, dating from 1881. An aspirational 56% new French oak, wild ferment and a highly sensitive extraction period of five-days cold soak, fermentation and 30 days most fermentation maceration.
    Attenuated. Australian wine is often accused of being many things: one, is having no real tannin. Wines like this are a change for the better. This tastes more like a Southern Rhone wine driven by Grenache, than Shiraz. Christmas cake, cherry bonbon, bitter chocolate and a potpourri of dried Mediterranean herb. Long, luxuriant and vinous, if not a bit sweet.” 93 points, Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2021

    “Black plum, XMAS spices, some dried mint and herbs. It’s fleshy and saline, dried beef and herb, but with plenty of dark berries to go with it. Tannin is grainy and firm, slightly drying, but the finish is pretty long, and savoury. It’s a brooding almost earthy expression of Barossa Shiraz, but a good one.” 92 points, Gary Walsh, Winefront

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