2017 Schwarz Chenin Blanc
The Wine Front – Gary Walsh, 27 October 2017.
Ah the simple pleasures like tasting Chenin Blanc of a Friday afternoon. Some sulphur/struck match, very racy and tangy wine, almost like lemon juice in water, with a smokiness, tight acidity and a dry and tart finish of ok length. Neutral dry white of low alcohol is the thing, though it may take shape with a bit of bottle age.
Rated: 87+ Points | Alcohol: 11% | Drink: 2018 – 2022+
The Real Review – Huon Hooke, 27 October 2017
Very light, bright yellow colour with a piercing mineral, smoky, crushed-rock and faintly herbal aroma. A minty suggestion of oak emerged later. In the mouth it’s rather high-acid and lean, crisp and tart, light-bodied and rapier-like, dry as a drought-parched bone, and the finish is almost alarmingly tart, but also appetite-stimulating.
Rated: 88/100 – 3 bronze stars
2019 Halliday Wine Companion – Steven Creber
Lemony aromas with a little sulphide/struck match evident. Looking deeper, you can see some emerging green apple and honey characters which will most likely be more prominent with a bit more time in the bottle. At present it’s pretty lean with mostly citrus flavours and quite brisk acidity through the palate. Interesting to see how it develops.
2017 Schwarz Rosé
The Real Review – Huon Hooke, 5 November 2017
Light to medium, youthful pink colour and a crushed seashell, peppery aroma, very savoury and not at all grapey. It’s the same on the tongue, crisp and dry, savoury and non-grapey, with pleasant balance and a slightly tangy aftertaste.
Dry grown grenache planted in ’68 on the family vineyard. Red fruit aromas on the bouquet, strawberry and cherry if you had to choose, a touch of rose petal, not too ripe or sweet. Quite subdued in flavour, more about freshness and texture really. Has nice mouthfeel and length on the palate but with a lightness of touch.
2016 Schwarz GSM
Gary Walsh – Wine Front, 16 October 2017
Invariably one of the best (drinking) Barossa GSM, at least for my tastes. Cherry, raspberry, spice, floral too, liquorice, but a little sooty/earthy too, which grounds it beautifully. Medium bodied, juicy purple flavoured wine, with a just the right amount of tannin grip, succulence and savoury. Finish is fresh and long. Delightful.
Rated: 93 Points | Alcohol: 13.8% | Drink: 2017 – 2024
2019 Halliday Wine Companion – Campbell Mattinson – 1 January 2018
Slinky texture and although medium weight, there’s enough volume here to satisfy just about everyone. Red and black berries run the show before anise and chocolate flavours step forward and fancy it up. The finish then bursts with spice. Well played on all fronts.
Rated: 93/100 | Alcohol: 13.8% | Drink: 2017 – 2024
2015 Schwarz GSM
Campbell Mattinson – The Winefront, 20 January 2017
Barossa blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro. 1400 dozen. Grown on various vineyards around the Barossa. You have to admire the way this wine presents. It’s earthen and spicy, with redcurrant running through, and yet it’s pure silk in terms of mouthfeel. Ultra modern in many ways and yet the fruit and earth does all the talking; it’s just as apt to call it ultra traditional. Tannin curls freely through the back half of the wine. Graphite and clove notes makes cameo appearances. It’s all so very well done.
Rated : 92 Points | Alcohol : 13.6% | Drink : 2017 – 2022
2016 Schwarz Shiraz
Wine Front – Campbell Mattinson, 4 December 2017.
Barossa shiraz from a range of vineyards around the region. It’s a substantial red wine with fruit – rather than oak – to the fore. It’s a pure expression of shiraz in a Barossa landscape. It tastes of coal and blackberry jam, campfire and cloves, but it’s that hearty hit of blackberried – tinged with raspberry – fruit that really characterises it. It’s a faultless shiraz, from all angles.
Rated : 93 Points | Alcohol : 13.9% | Drink : 2018 – 2025+
Sam Kim – Wine Orbit
Deeply coloured and intensely aromatic, the bouquet shows black/blueberry, cranberry, violet, cocoa and warm spice aromas. The palate is concentrated and beautifully weighted, delivering pristine fruit flavours together with subtle savoury nuances, brilliantly supported by fleshy mouthfeel and silky texture. A gorgeous rendition offering fruit richness as well as elegance and grace. At its best: now to 2024. AU$30.00. www.schwarzwineco.com.au. March 2018
Rated: 94 points – 5 stars
2019 Halliday Wine Companion – James Halliday – 1 August 2018
A diminutive, lightweight bottle and minimalist, clean-cut label, are a quiet opening for a fresh, juicy black cherry and blackberry bouquet and palate. It has the hallmark Schwarz freshness and elegance.
2015 Schwarz Shiraz
Campbell Mattinson – The Winefront, 23 January 2017
They make about 1000 dozen of this and, as they say in the classics, it goes all right. If you like Barossa shiraz (and reds in general) Schwarz should definitely be on your shopping list. It’s smooth as silk. It’s substantial and yet not at all overdone; it sits at the upper end of medium-weight. It offers dark, roasted, blackberry-earth-coffee flavours but it remains fresh. There’s a coal-like, clovey character to the nose and then a juicy run of berried flavour on the palate. It suggested at a graphite-like savouriness but generally holds true to berried fruit, aided by a slip of licorice. It’s a modern expression of the Barossa without getting too high falutin’ about it. It’s very nicely done.
Rated : 92 Points | Alcohol : 14.1% | Drink : 2017 – 2024
2017 Meta Grenache
The Wine Front – Campbell Mattinson, November 2017
Hand picked, wild yeast, 91% whole bunches, unfined, unfiltered. 2650 bottles made. From Bethany and Marananga. 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.
Rated : 92 Points | Alcohol : 13.8% | Drink : 2017 – 2024+
2017 Meta Grenache
Huon Hooke – The Review Review, 26 November 2017
Bright, light to medium purple/red colour with a spicy, stemmy complexity of aromas. It’s light to medium-bodied and soft on the tongue, deliciously slurpable and easy at this tender age. The wine is very spicy and yet not harshly peppery, but deliciously flavoursome and soft.
2017 Meta Mataro
The Wine Front – Campbell Mattinson, 2 November 2017
Hand picked, wild yeast, 20% whole bunches, unfined, unfiltered. 2130 bottles made. Wine worth crowing about. Mountain herbs, graphite, peppercorn and spice notes come at least in lock-step, if not ahead of, blackberry and plum, leather and earth flavours. It’s different, in a good way. It’s fresh and complex, more-ish and highly engaging. Weight doesn’t really come into it but there’s more than enough here. Refreshing feel to it just puts another tick on the positive side of the ledger.
Rated : 93 Points | Drink : 2018 – 2025+
2019 Halliday Wine Companion – James Halliday – 1 August 2018
Hand-picked, wild-fermented with 20% whole bunches, unfined/unfiltered, 177 dozen made. Shows how much flavour can be achieved at lower than conventional alcohol levels, resulting in fresh, vibrant varietal fruit, a juicy mix of raspberry and blood plum, the tannins sufficient but no more.
2016 Meta Mataro
Dave Brookes – The Adelaide Review, January 17 2017
The 2015 rendition of this gorgeous, slurpy little Barossan beauty slid effortlessly into the top 10 of this year’s Hot 100 Wines. This, the newly released 2016 model, also peaks the drinkability meter and will provide much enjoyment over the summer months.
Mourvedre, Monastrell or, as we call it in this neck of the woods, Mataro, is a sexy little beast. All too often in the past it was blended away, part of the famous GSM phenomena you see, but considering the incredible stock of old Mataro vines we have here in South Australia, that seems a bit silly and it’s nice to see so many proud, straight Mataros now gracing shelves in wine stores and appearing on wine lists.
Hand–picked with wild yeast and some whole bunches in the ferment, it’s a wild–eyed little thing that possesses an uncanny ability to convince you to keep refilling your glass. Don’t be afraid to pop it in the fridge to take the edge off on a hot day (we do tend to drink our wines too warm considering our weather patterns).
It is vibrant red/purple in the glass with juicy aromas of plums and dark summer berry fruits along with higher tones of macerated raspberries and red cherry. It’s deeply dredged with spice and you’ll find hints of violets, roasting meats, freshly turned earth, dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
There is a lovely purity to the fruit on the palate, glossy, vibrant and perfumed. It’s definitely at the lighter end of medium–bodied but that is just perfect for this ravenous wine–drinker. Fruit–packed, spicy and bright with plenty of character, it should be the wine you grab as you light the barbie.
2016 Meta Mataro
Gary Walsh – The Wine Front, 7 December 2016
Love the packaging on these wines, and in particular this META range. It’s an interesting turn of events to be releasing a Mataro in the same year as its birth! Saucy spices, cinch of stalk and smoke, blackberry and boysenberry. Medium bodied, grainy and stalky, but with nutty and plump bramble fruit, cool acidity and a pleasant spray of amaro herbs in the aftertaste. Lovely wine. Good now, likely better later.
Rated : 92+ Points | Alcohol : 14.1% | Drink : 2017 – 2026
2016 Meta Shiraz
The Wine Front – Campbell Mattinson, 1 November 2017
Hand picked, wild yeast, 25% whole bunches, unfined, unfiltered. 2850 bottles made. From Stonewell, Moppa and the Eden Valley. A touch of coffee-like flavour but it’s essentially fruit-driven and bold, its heart of blackberry wrapped in chicory and liquorice. Mouth-filling but mannered. Supple tannin draws the strings in a casual manner. Fruit really is to the fore from start to finish. The door isn’t closed; Barossa shiraz is open for viewing, and on clear display.
Rated : 92 Points | Alcohol : 14.3% | Drink : 2018 – 2026+
2019 Halliday Wine Companion – James Halliday – 1 Augustt 2018
Hand-picked from Stone Well, Moppa (Barossa Valley) and the Eden Valley, wild-fermented with 25% whole bunches, not fined or filtered. Highly aromatic, with spicy/tangy whole bunch aromas, the full-bodied palate ticks all the boxes, with powdery tannins dusting the seductive black fruits. Overall line, length and balance spot on.
The Real Review – Huon Hooke, 15 December 2017
Very youthful, bright purple/red colour and a raw, primal aroma of essency, concentrated fruit, which has a borderline overripe note. It stains the glass. A big, ballsy, somewhat unsubtle red with some chewiness in its tannins and a solid grip to finish. It’s not all that elegant but is a very generous mouthful of red wine. It would reward some cellaring.
2015 Meta Shiraz
Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front, 9 December 2016
Wild yeast, 22% whole bunches, unfined and unfiltered. Shiraz grown in the Stonewell, Eden Valley and Moppa sub-regions. It’s definitely one for the whole bunch brigade. It might only make up 22% of the mix, but the influence is clear and relatively dangerous. Needless to say, it had me more or less swooning from the outset. Nuts, herbs, woodsmoke, strings of greenery – it’s all there. Of course, and all-importantly, there’s a fresh burst of black cherry and blackberry-like fruit flavour too; it has the style, but it also has the substance. Whether or not you think this wine takes things too far will depend on your view of the bunchy style. There’s a screw of dry, slightly bitter, tannin here too, compounding the wine’s in-your-face nature. Personally I think it’s a stand-out red, particularly after a stint in the decanter.
Rated : 94 Points | Drink : 2018 – 2026+
2016 Thiele Road Grenache
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
2015 Thiele Road Grenache
Campbell Mattinson – The Winefront, 20 January 2016
From a block planted in 1941. Open fermented (wild), most of it de-stemmed but 15% included as whole bunches. Extended maceration by virtue of the fact that the ferment was unhurried. All into French oak thereafter. This is such a bright wine. So lively. It tastes of cherries, oranges, dry spices and undergrowth, the flow and flavour all working quite beautifully. It’s a mouth-watering red. It has savoury complexity but it’s really about juicy fruit. It’s the kind of wine you just want to hook into.
Rated : 91 Points | Alcohol : 14% | Drink : 2017 – 2022+
2016 Nitschke Block – James Halliday – 1 August 2018
The vineyard was planted in ’68 by Jason Schwarz’s’ parents in the Bethany district, wild-fermented with 25% whole bunches, lengthy maceration, basket-pressed, matured in French oak (25% new). The bouquet is compelling, with a spice and fresh leather overlay to the black fruits. It is medium-bodied, fresh and lively, the oak and whole bunches introducing elements not common in the Barossa Valley, and protected by modest alcohol. A good outcome for the vintage.
Rated : 95 Points | Alcohol : 14% | Drink : 2017 – 2030
2015 Nitschke Block Shiraz
The vines were planted by Jason Schwarz’s parents in ’68. Picked in two portions, the first 14 Feb, 20% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 25 days on skins, matured in French hogsheads (25% new); the second picked 24 Feb, 25% whole bunches, 20 days on skins, matured in one new French hogsheads and puncheon, the bunches foot-stomped at the end of fermentation. Sophisticated winemaking, the only question the amount of French oak apparent now, but will regress with more time in bottle.
Rated: 95/100 | Drink by: 2035
2015 The Schiller Shiraz
Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front, 1 June 2017
I’d like a glass of the Schwarz Schiller Shiraz please. Try saying that once you’ve had a couple. It’s grown on just 400 vines, rescued from the bulldozer, planted in 1881. GW wasn’t so keen on the 2014 but personally, I loved it. I love this 2015 as much or more. It’s a bold shiraz but it remains fresh and, more to the point, tremendously smooth in a seductive way. Barossa shiraz for lovers of Barossa shiraz. Redcurrant, plum and blackberry meet caramel, earth and coal. It’s seamless, it’s delicious, it’s satisfying. Right up there for quality.
Rated : 94 Points | Alcohol : 14.5% | Drink : 2018 – 2032+
2019 Halliday Wine Companion – Campbell Mattinson – 1 October 2017
Made from a mere 400 vines, planted in 1881. It’s a hearty, deep-set, seductive wine with freshness kept paramount. It slinks along the tongue in satiny fashion, runs with the flavours of redcurrant, blackberry, coal and caramel, and trails impressively out through an extended finish. Barossa shiraz in all its glory. Straps of flavour-drenched tannin will help ensure a very long future.