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.
Schwarz Meta Mataro is made from 100% Mataro (a.k.a. Mourvedre).
Meta: An abstraction from a well-known concept. Fruit sourced from Bethany and Marananga.
Dark, spicy and built for max expression. Built over a foundation of blackberry and red plums this is a punch, expressive Mataro of spice rubbed meat, tea smoke and beef jerky. All dark, brooding and masculine in its fragrance, the palate is expansive with punchy tannin and sweet cinnamon spice.
Coming from 2 different vineyards. Average age of the vines is 90 years old for the first parcel and 70 years old for the second parcel. Hand-picked, wild yeast, 72% whole bunch.
Minimal use of Oak, the majority is aged in tank in order to avoid oxydation.
Pairs with pizza, pasta, burger, charcuterie and mild cheese.
A gorgeous, glossy purple hue. Saturated dark fruit scents melding with smoked meat and violet. The tannins, a ferrous timbre. This has no pretence. Just an honest Mataro, scented with fidelity, extracted appropriately and easy to drink. Delicious! - Ned Goodwin"
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 95 pts
Schwarz Nitschke Block Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
This Bethany vineyard was planted by Jason Schwarz's parents in 1968 and has been tended to by the hands of his family ever since. The vines are dry-grown and produce small crops of intensely flavored fruit.
A display of the purest blood-plum and black cherry, with cracked black peppercorn and streaky bacon over some seriously fine oak. Some subtle herbaceous qualities, nettle and thyme bring life to an otherwise immense nose. Very juicy on the palate, deeply flavorsome, long and with mouth-coating tannin for a very textured, very focused Barossa classic.
Slow cooked beef ribs, grilled meats, wild game and grilled vegetables.
"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 clunky jam. This is smart. Very. - Ned Goodwin"
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 96 pts
Schwarz The Schiller Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
The Schiller Shiraz is a wine rich in both flavor and history. The 400 Shiraz vines planted by Carl August Otto Schiller in 1881 are something to be treasured. Earmarked for bulldozers in 2006, a last minute reprieve would see these Ancestor vines remain in the ground. The grapes are hand-picked from the sixth generation Schiller family vineyard at Hallett Valley in the Barossa. Jason first made this wine in 2008, and since then it has been his flagship wine.
Opens quickly to luxe fruits, black plum & fruits of the forest, building in layers of toasty smoked bacon, tobacco leaf and Mediterranean herbs with nuances of spice and earthy tones. A luxurious palate of old vine fruits, savory overtones and fine slippery tannins. A long harmonious finish.
Schwarz Thiele Road Grenache is made from 80 year old 100% Grenache vines.
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.
"From a single vineyard (Bethany) planted in 1941. No question that 2018 delivered some mighty fine Grenache in the Barossa Valley. Bright and pretty, red fruits, baked ricotta with thyme and honey, spice. It’s finely wrought and fresh, light emery tannin, raspberry and sweet strawberry, spice, blood orange and aromatic herbs playing out on a long finish. Oh, and it’s light to medium-bodied at most. Lovely."
- The Winefront (March 2020), 94 pts
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Toza Jumilla Monastrell is made from 100 percent Monastrell.
Toza is a classic example of the Monastrell variety from the Mediterranean region. Clean, bright cherry red color. It is bold with intense fresh red fruits and varietal aromas on the nose. Aged in oak barrels, this Spanish red is rich, toasty, round and velvety.