Beechworth Brilliance: 2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown
Some days are better than others. As a small independent wine store, we try hard to seek out wines that are authentic, genuine, honestly made, and represent value for money. Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown epitomise all the attributes we place high importance on. It is impossible to show restraint when Tessa Brown says that a Geelong visit is on the cards.
We were lucky to taste the soon-to-be-released lineup of 2021s from this boutique Beechworth producer, and the quality across the board is undeniable.
Tessa has a brilliant mind, matched with an impeccable resume listing experience at some of the top producers in the land. Together with partner Jeremy Schmölzer, they craft a range of pure and thoughtful wines from that blessed pocket of Northeast Victoria, but it is their work within the Stanley hamlet of the Beechworth GI that is the heart of their operations.
Single vineyard releases from the 1994-planted Brunnen vineyard and 300m away at their own 2014-planted Thorley vineyard, are a chance for VS&B to showcase their viticultural talents in this sub-alpine setting.
Trust our judgement that these are wines we love to drink and think you will too.
2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Thorley Riesling $58
Destemmed and crushed, several hours on skins before pressing. Light settle, wild ferment in stainless steel then transferred to old oak to complete ferments. Six further months on lees before bottling. Dry spätlese in style. - Tessa Brown
A touch of colour for a young wine, the nose shows honeyed notes, canuba wax and fresh clay, not overly aromatic or floral, perhaps due to the old oak shaping toward texture and complexity rather than preserving high tones. The palate has a wonderful pithy grip and texture, with incredible drive and power as it glides. Amazing persistence to the length and great harmony to the winemaking nous. - Tom Brushfield, Union Cellars
2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Thorley Chardonnay $58
Crushed whole bunches and basket pressed. Full solids ferment, then full MLF in a mix of puncheons and barrique. 20% new oak. Ten months in oak with monthly stirring, then five months in tank for fine lees tightening before bottling.
2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Brunnen Chardonnay $58
Crushed whole bunches and basket pressed. Full solids ferment, then full MLF in barrique. 33% new oak. Ten months in oak with monthy stirring, then five months in tank for fine lees tightening before bottling. - Tessa Brown
2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Brunnen Pinot Noir $58
Mostly whole berry, all wild ferments with around 15-20 cuvasion. MLF and ageing in barrique, one in six being new. Then months in oak, then five months in tank for fine lees tightening before bottling. - Tessa Brown
2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Thorley Syrah $58
Mostly destemmed and crushed ferments. One small all whole bunch ferment, blended back to around 15% whole bunches. All wild ferments with around 15-20 days cuvasion. MLF and ageing in barrique, one in six being new. Ten months in oak, then five months in tank for fine lees tightening before bottling. - Tessa Brown
"Plum, toasted hazelnut and pecans, roast beef and rosemary, a grind of pepper and spice. It’s medium-bodied, silky and nutty, walnut tannin, and a kind of honey and red fruit juiciness, though it’s essence is more stony/mineral, and, of course, nutty, and the finish has some spice and burnt orange, which carries long in the aftertaste. Really like this. It’s so distinctive and good to drink." 94 Points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Thorley Nebbiolo $58
One destemmed and crushed wild ferment in an open pot. Around 28 days cuvasion. Underwent MLF in the following year's summer, so twelve months sans soufre in oak. Eighteen months total maturation in old puncheon and hogshead before bottling. - Tessa Brown
"Fine perfume here, and a certain cool alpine feel and clarity. Red cherry, new leather, mint and liquorice root, a little spice and orange peel. Medium-bodied, juicy cherry and ripe strawberry, some savoury tobacco flavours, bright acidity, fine brick dust tannin, and a long spicy/dusty finish. So nicely done. It’s lucid and tight, and has the signature of Nebbiolo firmly etched. I’m impressed. Very." 94+ Points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front