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Schwarz Thiele Road Grenache 2014

ID No: 444488
Country:Australia
Region:Barossa Valley
Grape Type:Grenache
Winery:Schwarz Wine Company
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Product Description

Thiele Road is a dusty track that crosses Bethany Creek at the foot of the Barossa Ranges. It is home to Jason Schwarz's family's 70 year old, deep rooted Grenache vines that produce wines with complex flavours and plenty of character.

Bouquet: The nose is floral and expressive with raspberry and pepper.
Palate: Red fruits, spice and earth with beautiful balance and structure. Medium weighted with fine acidity. A wine built on complexity and packed with interest.

Planted in 1941. The gnarled, old vines continue to produce fantastic fruit and the quality out of the 2014 vintage was evident. The vines are handpicked, 10% whole bunch and the remainder de-stemmed and into an open fermenter. Before too long the wild yeast population on the grapes kicks off fermentation and that continues with daily gentle pump overs and hand plunging until fermentation is complete and the flavour profile is just right. The wine is then basket pressed and matured in seasoned French oak for 18 months before bottling. Not filtered or fined.


Review:

"Jason Schwarz’s great uncle planted the grenache vines at his family’s vineyard just southeast of Vine Vale in 1946. Schwarz, who started his career in wine marketing, later returned to Barossa to learn how to make wine. He convinced his father to sell him some fruit in 2002, and has been making wine from the family’s vineyard ever since. This 2014 is a happy wine, from its crisp red fruit to its racy tannins. Its beauty may be simple, but there’s nothing bluntly fruity or tannic about it. Just the taste of delicious grenache, a little earthy, a little rich and hard to resist."
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (February 2016), 93 pts

Winery: Schwarz Wine Company

The Schwarz Wine Company Estate
Jason Schwarz has strong family connections with the Barossa wine scene, and his father is a grape grower with over a hundred acres of vines. After obtaining a degree in wine marketing and traveling around the world, Jason returned to the Barossa Valley and persuaded his father to allow him to use a small amount of his fruit. He produced his first vintage in 2002.

The
Schwarz Wine Company Vineyards
The family Grenache block is planted along a dusty old bus track (Thiele Road) and has been there since Jason's father’s uncle dropped in the cuttings in 1946.
The Nitschke Block was planted in 1968 by Jason's parents in Bethany, one of the originally settled villages of the Barossa Valley. The vines are still traditionally hand pruned and picked. This dry grown vineyard yields only 1.5 to 2 tonnes per acre.

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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100