Media articles and press releases from our Nelson family vineyard

World Class Pinot Noir

News Release - for immediate release
11 March 2016
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Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach of Nelson's Blackenbrook VineyardBlackenbrook Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2014 has won a Gold medal and Best in Show for New Zealand Red Wine at one of Europe’s leading wine competitions, the Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards in Germany.

This is the latest in a series of top-shelf wine industry accolades for the Tasman-based family vineyard.

“Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards is now judged twice a year, in February and in August, with nearly 10,000 wines submitted each year,” says Blackenbrook Vineyard co-owner Ursula Schwarzenbach. “Mundus Vini judges are extremely tough and being awarded a gold is a very significant achievement.”

Ursula and Daniel Schwarzenbach are more knowledgeable than most about the rigorous judging process, as Daniel usually chairs a panel at the August tasting. 



Gold and Best in Class from Mundus Vini International Wine AwardWinning gold at Mundus Vini is particularly important for Blackenbrook because Germany is a key export market for its wines. “This accolade will help our German importers to build a premium reputation for our wines,” says Ursula.

It’s particularly satisfying to see a Pinot Noir from Nelson doing so well, she says. “Nelson is producing world-class Pinot Noir but due to its small production only rarely features in the list of gold medal winners for this noble variety.”

“2014 was a fantastic vintage for us. All the factors lined up to produce amazing concentration in our grapes. All our 2014 wines are of exceptional quality, bringing home two trophies (for Gewürtztraminer and Reserve Pinot Noir) and three Gold Medals.

“From the day we picked the grapes for the 2014 Pinot Noir, Daniel was excited with the quality, always maintaining that this would be the best Pinot Noir so far produced at Blackenbrook – it’s great to see his gut feeling was right!”


Daniel Schwarzenbach with grapes for  gold-medal-winning Nelson Pinot Noir 2014


Blackenbrook Family Vineyard scores another impressive industry accolade

News Release - for immediate release
28 August 2015
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Ursula Schwarzenbach bringing Bragato Trophy for best Gewurztraminer home to NelsonMulti-award winning Tasman winemaker Daniel Schwarzenbach of Blackenbrook Vineyard has scored another impressive industry accolade by winning a gold medal and the trophy for Best Gewürztraminer at the prestigious annual Bragato Wine Awards held in Napier on 27 August.

This is the fifth ‘best wine in class’ award at a national competition for the family owned and run vineyard and it cements Blackenbrook’s reputation for producing outstanding aromatic wines.  

Bragato Wine Awards are noteworthy because they recognise the grape grower rather than the vineyard and are awarded by fellow viticulturalists.

“We put our heart and soul into our wines,” said Daniel Schwarzenbach speaking from Germany where he is currently judging wine at the Mundus Vini International Wine Awards.

“Accolades such as the Bragato trophy tell us that we are achieving something really special here. We are humbled by this recognition from our peers.” 

Producing beautiful Gewürztraminer is the realisation of a long-cherished dream for the Schwarzenbachs.  “Before starting our vineyard I worked as a cellar hand for Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, one of the top Gewürztraminer producers worldwide,” said Daniel. “It was a fantastic experience and I couldn’t wait to get home to our patch of Tasman paradise to start planting our own aromatics.”

Ursula Schwarzenbach said that achieving another national award is a very proud moment for a small vineyard in a very competitive industry. “Gewürztraminer is a variety that we have been working really hard on and it’s very exciting to see that our work is paying off in the glass.”

“Blackenbrook is one of the highest-achieving wineries on the Nelson scene with a reputation for aromatic white wines - Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc - that are rich and full of personality.”
- Michael Cooper (renowned wine critic)

 


Thomas’s Treasure Dessert Riesling 2008 ready for release!

News Release - for immediate release
5 December 2013
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It will be an emotional moment for the Schwarzenbach family when a very significant wine is released on the 10th of December.

Daniel and Thomas Schwarzenbach with acacia barrel of dessert RieslingNot only has their Thomas’s Treasure Dessert Riesling 2008 already been awarded five stars by wine consultant Michael Cooper, but the single barrel, limited release wine has a family story that will become part of the Blackenbrook legacy in years to come.

Only 240 small bottles from a total of 309 are being released – the rest will remain as Blackenbrook library stock at their Tasman winery near Nelson.

Michael Cooper says this wine will be highly sought after. “This is a very special wine and unusually rare with only 20 cases available. It is very collectible.”

Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines 2014 describes Blackenbrook Thomas’s Treasure Nelson Dessert Riesling 2008 as:

“The 2008 vintage (*****) is indeed a ‘treasure’ – one of the most striking sweet wines ever produced in New Zealand. Made from estate-grown, ‘tiny, completely botrytised berries’, harvested at 55 brix, it was matured for three years in a small (120-litre) acacia barrel from Slovenia. Only 309 bottles were produced – but what a wine! The bouquet is immediately arresting, with an exceptional intensity of apricot and honey aromas, showing real complexity.


Thomas with our botrytised Riesling grapesA wine of great beauty, it is oily and sweet, almost syrupy, with honey, apricot and tea flavours, good acid spine and exceptional depth.”

The story of Thomas’s Treasure began when Blackenbrook owner and winemaker Daniel Schwarzenbach visited a cooperage in Slovenia and fell in love with this particular small barrel. When the barrel was being unloaded at the Blackenbrook winery in 2006 – Thomas then aged 3 became firmly attached to it.

“He loved that barrel from the moment he saw it and claimed it as his at once. He’s been a part of this wine right from the start which is why it seemed right to let him name it.”

Two years later Thomas enthusiastically helped picking the grapes that went into his barrel. In 2012, after lengthy family discussions, Thomas aged 8, chose the name Thomas’s Treasure.

Daniel says it’s a perfect wine to keep for Thomas for posterity, as it may have an aging potential of more than 20 years.

“This is a once in a lifetime wine. The conditions were less than perfect in 2008 and ample rain just before harvest caused heavy losses to botrytis. But some of our Riesling developed beautiful “noble rot”, a fungus that dehydrates the berries and thus concentrates sugar and flavour. We carefully hand-picked the tiny bunches with an amazing 55 Brix or 550g natural sugar per litre of juice.”

The outstanding fruit, combined with the uniqueness of the acacia barrel and the hands-off winemaking resulted in a wine that we’re immensely proud of. We let natural yeast take care of the fermentation; there were no mechanical movement or racking, no sulphur or any other additives in the first three years.

“We weren't in any rush to release this wine. It will only get better and it will age gracefully,” says Daniel.

Michael Cooper agrees: “It’s already been cellared for 5 and a half years and as is the case with sweet wines it should age extremely well. But buyers don’t have to cellar this though – it’s drinking really well now.”

Blackenbrook Thomas’s Treasure Nelson Dessert Riesling 2008 is retailing at $55 for a 375ml bottle. It is available directly from Blackenbrook at their website 

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