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Tessa Brown and Jeremy Schmolzer are getting a lot of things right in their quest to establish their own label. As they wait for their own vineyard to mature they are making the most of some brilliant fruit from the surrounding areas. The Pret-a-Rouge is a blend of Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Sangiovese sourced from Beechworth and the Alpine Valleys. Don't think too hard on the mechanics of the blend, this is made for ease of drinking and somehow these strange bed-fellows just work. It's built to be readily approachable and versatile and the 2016 nails the brief. If you are looking to get familiar with these two, the Pret-a-Rouge is the best place to start.
What it Tastes Like
Bright and fruit-driven, red forest fruits, a whiff of game and fresh-picked herb. It's smooth and supple to drink, fine savoury tannin cupping the sweet fruit so gently. It's built for speed of drinking and it delivers it in emphatically. Such a great modern style of Australian red wine. Smashability to the max.
92 points "Beechworth fruit, so that places this wine in home territory for vignerons Schmolzer and Brown. There’s shiraz, sangiovese and pinot noir in this wine, but the intent is a medium weight, savoury red of spice and fine tannin profile, or something like that, ‘spaghetti or something’, quips Tessa Brown. From vineyards that VS&B have relationships with, rather than a cash and carry mentality. Everything just so. Earth and pulverised rock scents, old spice cupboard, ripe plum, mulberry, undergrowth, an animale perfume, one might say. Just on medium weight, almost tactile spicy in the palate, pomegranate, gentle amaro note. Skollable stuff, is the message, but for those seeking respite in a long, drawn out affair with a bottle and a meal, there’s enough intellect here too. Slurpy, delicious, vibrant red of high enjoyment." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown
Tessa and Jeremy are playing a long-game with their Vignerons Schmolzer & Brown label. They have invested in a block of land and planted 10,000 vines on it over the last couple of years with plans of managing it fully organically. It comes as no surprise to me that the buzz around this husband and wife team is palpable and the praise is high.
Max Allen recently called them, “one of a remarkable number of impressive new wine labels to have cropped up in Beechworth over the last five years.” - they are going to be at the forefront of Beechworth wine for many years to come.
Beechworth is a small wine producing region with a big reputation. The distinctive terroir in this part of the country produces some of our most iconic wines. If you want serious Chardonnay or Rhone-inspired Shiraz/Syrah, you want to get to know Beechworth. Some of the most powerful cool climate wines in the country hail from here, and some of our future stars are making it their home. The future looks very bright for this champion Victorian region.
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