2021 Vignerons Schmolzer & Brown Thorley Chardonnay

Highly Rated
The debut single vineyard Chardonnay from Tessa & Jeremy's Thorley Vineyard high above Beechworth. An outstanding and very limited first release.

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Description

Beechworth and Chardonnay are synonymous now, thanks to the great vineyards of the region (Giaconda, Sorrenberg, Domenica et al) and here's a new name to enter that class.

Thorley is a pint-sized property planted by husband and wife, Jeremy Schmolzer and Tessa Brown. It's a much higher altitude site than those names previously mention and so produces a finer, more detailed expression of Chardonnay, that's not without the classic Beechworth power.

It's long and fine, beautifully balanced and if the track record of their Brunnen Chardonnay (from the vineyard across the road) is anything to go by, it should cellar beautifully too.

"Succulent, quietly powerful, green apple, just-ripe nectarine, a touch of ginger... Phwoar, haven’t VS&B nailed chardonnay in 2021."
- 95 pts, Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)

"Calm, fine-boned, and beautifully turned out. It’s some drink."
- 95 pts, Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)

Bright pale straw. Aromas of cashew cream, almond blossom and white peach, along with a smudge of flint and warm biscotti.

The palate has some worked creaminess yet is restrained in weight, with a certain slatey mineral anchor and Meyer lemon acid carriage. With time in glass, some hints of herb garden show through.

95 points - "Succulent, quietly powerful, green apple, just-ripe nectarine, a touch of ginger, some green almond, licks of nougat and a faint saline mineral edge in there too. Beautiful, gently floral perfume with the rest of those characters I wrote before. The palate a swish and swizzle of pretty fruit, savoury elements, cool, high toned acidity, a faint rose water character, which is interesting, and, like Brunnen, exceptional length and freshness. Phwoar, haven’t VS&B nailed chardonnay in 2021." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)

95 points - "White peach, cedar and cinnamon quills, a little mint, chamomile, ginger. It’s light, cool feel to it, some green olive, gentle saline character, a light dusty texture studded with sweet spice and almond, with a fine powdery grip on a finish of excellent length. Calm, fine-boned, and beautifully turned out. It’s some drink." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)

94 points - "Wild ferment, full mlf, 12 months in French oak (25% new), six months in tank. Made with the intention to age, Thorley can be, to use the producer's words, 'shy' in its youth. The '21 is certainly coiled, taut and, yes, quiet. But, the groundwork is there for something special. A delicate scent of citrus, grapefruit, nectarine and pear. The palate is in the peach and nectarine spectrum, gently spiced and a little buttery. Composed and linear. it offers up a racy acid drive, something to build a future on." - Jeni Port (Halliday Wine Companion)

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 high in the hills behind Beechworth and have planted 10,000 vines on it over the last couple of years with the plan to farm it organically. Tessa has a wealth of experience from time at Sorrenberg and Kooyong, Jeremy is an architect by trade with an eye for detail.

It comes as no surprise that the buzz around this husband and wife team is palpable and the praise is high. Max Allen 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.

Tessa and Jeremy in Thorley vineyard - Beechworth, VIC Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown

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