A journalist interviewing Madame Rothschild, a famous Bordeaux producer, asked, “Madame, does your family find the wine industry a difficult business with so many competitors?” Madame paused for a moment and then answered, “No … not really. It was only the first 100 years that the family found difficult.”
The Schild family has not reached the 100-year mark yet but with three generations producing Barossa Valley wines since 1952, they are well on the way. In 1952, Ben Schild bought land at Rowland Flat and established a mixed farm with a focus on sustainable viticulture. Ben died just four years later and his son Ed took over the property at age just 16. Since then Ed’s hard work and keen business sense has resulted in the family becoming one of the largest independent premium grape growers in the Barossa with more than 182ha under vine. Their vineyards are in the cooler southern end of the Barossa, predominantly around Lyndock. They include some of Australia’s oldest vineyards, including the famous Moorooroo vineyard near Jacob’s Creek, planted in 1847. These dry-grown, deep-rooted, old-bush pruned vines give very low yields of inky dark purple essence resulting in the most wonderful wines.
The wines tasted here, all red, are definitely recommended.
Schild Estate Sparkling Shiraz 2015
It’s not often I drink this uniquely Australian-style of wine, usually only at Christmas, but when I do I wonder why I don’t pop the cork more often. This wine shows a dark cherry colour, wonderfully lively and effervescent in the glass. Aromas are rich – spicy plum and licorice and deep flavours – black cherry and mulberry. The tannins are skilfully softened by maturation in seasoned oak and a touch of residual sugar, which is important for the style. A great accompaniment to game meats.
Schild Estate Barossa Valley Grenache Mourvedre Shiraz 2014
With 52% Grenache, 24% Mourvedre and 24% Shiraz, this is an enjoyable early drinking wine, reliant on fruit character as it has no oak influence. Shows exotic spices, briary, bucolic, a nice oxidative edge typical of the Grenache. The flavours are warm, juicy and mouthfilling. Redcurrant , earth and spice. Shiraz adds acidity and holds the wine nicely together.
Schild Estate Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Here’s a cabernet in the real Barossa style. Nose is ripe, warm, and complex. There’s blackcurrant with fresh oak showing through. The palate is generous, round, supple, nicely balanced. Blackcurrant and succulent black plum. Twelve months in French oak has added great dimension and good length.
Schild Estate Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014
True-Blue Barossa. Vibrant deep-red brick colour. Powerful fruit on the nose – it’s very savoury with exotic spice, cloves and camphor. Flavours burst in the mouth – warm, welcoming, mellow and rounded. Dark fruits and chocolate. This wine has another 8-10 years to go.
Schild Estate Barossa Valley `Ben Schild Reserve ‘ Single Vineyard Shiraz 2013
WOW! This wine is sublime and the best of the tasting. It’s seen 21 months in French, American and Hungarian oak followed by 19 months silently maturing in bottle before release and the result repays the detailed care it has received. Sweet, spicy fruit, vanilla bean aromas. Blackberry and chocolate. It combines refinement, yet power. Smooth ripe tannins. Supple, flavoursome and long on the palate. You can still taste this wine an hour after drinking. Drink now but I hope I’m still here in 20 years’ time to enjoy this wine again.
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