Winemaker Jason Schwarz grew up in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, part of an old winemaking family. His father's uncle first planted Grenache cuttings in 1946, alongside the dusty Thiele Road. Before he knew his destiny rested in wine as well, Schwarz would hustle down the road to catch the school bus every morning. Now he manages the gnarled old vines and also oversees the work in the cellar.
While the trellis in the vineyard was built to hoist the vines, over time, the roles have reversed. Now the vines hold up the traditional red gum trellis, and the trunks of the vines are home to nests of white ants.
High density of buds and overly vigorous growth in the vineyards are the bane of all winemakers seeking rich, concentrated wines. Schwarz relies on spur-pruning to reduce yields, clipping the vines to reduce the growth of bunches. As a result, his vineyards are characterized by small berries and open bunches.
In the cellar, the Thiele Road Grenache sees malolactic fermentation in old French oak, and then is unfilitered and racked twice before it is bottled 20 months later.
The wine is deep ruby red in color, and shows aromas of red currants and spice, with floral and graphite wood nuances. On the palate, expect rich red fruits, especially red currants. The wine finishes with fine grain tannins and soft acidity.
Pair this wine with barbecue or glazed and seared duck breast. A little of the wine works tremendously as a glaze, and you can save the rest for the table.