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While not holding any formal qualifications in winemaking, Jason’s appetite for the subject was voracious and he was lucky to learn from some of the Barossa’s finest winemakers until finally, after some encouragement from friends he approached his father to discuss buying a small parcel of the fruit from the 2001 vintage. He agreed and Jason put together his first Nitschke Block Shiraz, making only two hogs head barrels. In 2002 Jason produced his first Thiele Road Grenache and have made both wines every vintage since. To this day Jason’s parents have supported his venture and without their encouragement and the sacrifice of some of the Barossa’s greatest Shiraz and Grenache he could not have made this dream happen.
Relationships with some of the Barossa’s finest vignerons have grown over the years and having access to some of the region’s best old-vine fruit allows Jason to take a hands-off, intuitive approach in the winery.
Jason’s minimal intervention winemaking style enables him to create small-batch wines that are not mainstream – they are new-age expressions of Barossa classics, designed to allow the fruit to speak for itself and tell a story through the glass.
The Nitschke Road Shiraz block was planted by Jason’s mother and father in 1968 in Bethany near the base of the Eastern Barossa Range. The vineyard is still pruned and picked by hand and the soils of loam over brown and red clays results in a wine of considerable concentration and drive. Rich, opulent fruit is the reoccurring theme with this vineyard and it always seems to show great balance and texture year in, year out.
The Nitschke Block Shiraz was the first wine made by Jason Schwarz back in 2001.
All fruit was handpicked with the first parcel picked on 27th February 2020 with 20% whole bunch clusters utilised in the first ferment.
Pump overs began after four days of cold soak with a lid on. The pump overs continued until 6 March when foot stomping was carried out to break down any remaining whole berries. Once fermentation was complete, the lid was once again put on the fermenter and soft plunges were carried out every couple of days until pressing occurred on 3 April. The second parcel was picked on the 3rd March. This pick was split into two Fermenters – one with 25% whole bunch clusters which was on skins for eleven days before pressing, and the second with 15% whole bunch clusters which stayed on skins for twenty-one days before pressing.
All wines were pressed into VC (variable capacity) tanks where they were allowed to complete malolactic fermentation before being transferred to a mixture on new and seasoned French oak puncheons and hogsheads. Blending commenced on 18 May 2021 and the finished wine was bottled on 22 June 2021.
A vegan friendly wine bottled with no fining or filtration.
Absolute presence in the glass. This is a commanding wine, glistening with blackberry, cherry and plum fruits, lashings of fine-grained oak and the full spice box open and on show. All the hallmarks of dry grown shiraz from a hot vintage, but packaged in such an elegant wine. Dig through the layers and uncover coffee and cocoa, and a palate dripping in the full flavours of the Barossa Valley.
Barbequed, thick-cut, sirloin steak.
Will continue to improve with careful cellaring for 10-15 years.
Don’t just take our word for it…
91 Points – Winestate Magazine 2021 New Release Tasting
93 Points – Dave Brookes, 2023 Halliday Wine Companion
95 Points – Aaron Brasher, The Real Review