After getting stuck into Penfolds this week for a lack of authenticity in their mooted new releases, I figure it’s only right today to highlight a producer that is making genuine wines.
Schwarz Wine Co. is the label of Jason Schwarz, a Barossa-born winemaker who’s family are noted growers. Schwarz didn’t intend to be a winemaker (or grapegrower) initially, doing wine marketing at Adelaide University. But after a few vintages around the world he found himself buying fruit off his father to make his own wine.
Stylistically, these wines are anything but stodgy, with lower alcohols, less new oak and winemaking that is anything but formulaic. Stir in fruit from prime Barossa vineyards (Schwarz family plus growers), and you’ve got a recipe for glory. Even the packaging is modern and clever, with everything all fair prices.
These three are just a taste of what the label can deliver, but cover off a few of the bases – they’re expressive modern Barossa red wines that show you can have flavour without relying on oak. More importantly, these are wines that showcase great grapes, and a welcome distance from any multi-regional, marketing-led project wine…
Schwarz Wine Co. GSM 2016
53% Grenache, 37% Shiraz, 11% Mataro. 30% of the blend matured in old oak, the rest in tank. Some parcels include whole bunches. Immediately, this seduced with it’s luscious fruit – Lovely rich purple berry thickshake flavour, in a plump, plush but not sweet style – indeed there’s some of ferrous tannins for good measure. It’s perhaps not aimed to be a long term style, but seduction is undoubted, with enough layers to keep you interested. Best drinking: Now to ten years. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.8%, $30. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Schwarz Wine Co. Meta Mataro 2016
I’ve already reviewed the ’17 but discovered that I missed the ’16. It’s in a good place too.Handpicked, wild fermented with 15% whole bunches. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dark mulberry purple, there’s just this great s a great energy to this – a flow of mulberry and blueberry fruit which is so generous, and then with those darker, more mysterious layers underneath. Fine tannins, a hint of meatiness. It’s proper Mataro, but approachable too. Nice wine. Best drinking: Now to ten years easy. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.1%, $35. Would I buy it? Sure would.
Schwarz Wine Co. Shiraz 2016
Includes 8% Mataro. 60% of the blend sees old oak, the rest matured in tank. Luscious purple red, this is an earthen and rather firm red with a real ironstone streak. Drying with a dash of tomato juice. Really dark and savoury, in a style that is rare in the scheme of things – a wine of substance rather than just flattering fruit. Best drinking: Wait until next year then ten years easy. 17.5/20, 91/100+. 13.9%, $30. Would I buy it? A glass now, more later.