Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project 2021 - QWine Reviews

Home Top Ad

Responsive Ads Here

Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project 2021


Six wines, six different expressions of the same vineyard with the fruit picked at the same time. How's that for an exciting comparison of style and winemaker influence?

If you love Grenache, you'll be thrilled to explore what these six winemakers bring to the table. If you love wine, this is one incredibly unique project that delves into the prospect of the same fruit being handled differently to demonstrate what thoughtful and considered winemaking can deliver. In short, each winemaker was given one tonne of Grenache from the Rozenweig Vineyard to produce their own interpretation. 

To do this project justice, you need to taste all six wines side by side rather than individually - follow through and you'll reap the reward. What a great excuse to get some friends around a table to absorb, dissect and discuss the differences each wine delivers. Bravo to Artisans of Barossa for creating a platform (one which has been ongoing for a number of years now) for such adventure and creativity all for the love of wine.

The six winemakers are all part of the eight family-owned wineries that form the Artisans of Barossa tribe. These winemakers do not have their own cellar doors yet have come together under one roof. Artisans of Barossa is certainly a destination you should put on your list when visiting the Barossa with some 100+ wines for sale and tasting, not to mention their excellent restaurant Essen that is open for lunch Friday to Sunday. Need something to take with you? Check the local produce available at their delikatessen.

Some background on the vineyard used for this project as per the website: 

The Rosenzweig Vineyard was purchased in 1996 and James immediately set about establishing a nutrient soil base for the vineyard by applying compost, clay and natural supplement. The Grenache vines are trained onto a single wire with a single cordon and hand pruned to 24 buds per vine. Typically yielding 2.5 tonnes per acre, the grape berries are described as medium-sized. The combination of site, vine age and microclimatic conditions in the Rosenzweig Vineyard produces Grenache that is perfumed and vibrant while having great intensity and interest. 

Planted in 1969, the Rosenzweig Vineyard is situated at the intersection of Vine Vale and Research Roads. The vineyard is positioned on a flat piece of land at an altitude of 283 metres above sea level, with rows that run east-west in direction. The Grenache vines are planted on their own roots, in beach sand over yellow/red clay soils which run deep into the profile. The vineyard is managed by James Rosenzweig who has a sustainable approach to grape growing, who dry grows the vineyard and only uses supplementary irrigation in very dry years. He also believes in no herbicides and manages vine competition with blade and tillage techniques.

As you peruse the notes below, it's worth flagging the detail which impacts the differences in each wine - the use of whole berries and whole bunches.

Each wine below comes in a six pack for $250.

Hartwig Engela Grenache Project 2021

From the two winemakers behind Chaffey Bros - Daniel Hartwig and Theo Engela.

50% whole bunches were placed on the bottom of a stainless steel tank with the remaining 50% destemmed, crushed and placed on top for carbonic maceration and wild fermentation to take place. Pumped over twice daily, it sat on skins for nine days before seeing old French oak for six months. 14.4% alc.

Vibrant, juicy and damn delicious. The best of the six from where I sit. It's bursting with all the red things - raspberries, red cherries and red apples. A flash of blackcurrant leaf comes and goes but that red fruit just buzzes with excitement. Long and moreish, baking spices and some earthiness continue to add layers of interest. It's dancy and I want it all. Yes!

Drink now. 


Hobbs & Hobbs Grenache Project 2021

Made by Greg and Allison Hobbs from Hobbs of Barossa.

100% whole berries were cold macerated for four days before undergoing a five day ferment with limited hand plunging then seeing old French oak for six months. 14.8% alc.

Highlighted by petals, blackberry, boysenberry and dark cherry aromas, a flicker of mint slides in too. A feathering of texture from time on lees is evident. There's a little twiggy and earthy factor partnering the raspberry fruit and fine powdery like tannins. Voluptuous in its presence, it's a wine that is not afraid to get in deep. Ripples of warm spice reach all corners. The weight is seemingly brushed atop the palate and sticks. A wine of consideration and pleasure. Well done.

Drink to five years+


Lienert Grenache Project 2021

Made by James Lienert from Lienert Vineyards who is doing some exciting things with his own label, this project is just another outlet for him to express his soft touch.

Wild fermented with 40% whole bunches and hand plunged 3-4 times a day, it saw old French oak for eight months on full lees. 14.5% alc.

Crunchy and vibrant with delicate spices, the energy and dancy appeal are captivating. Red currants, red cherries and pomegranates lead the way as a ribbon of rhubarb threads its way through. Red apples and strawberries wrap themselves around an earthy drive showing some tea leaves, soft spices and a purple flower mouth perfume. A red apple crunch is a nod to the well-handled acidty. The lightest of the six but not short on interest and deliciousness. I'm a big fan.

Drink to five years.


Schell Grenache Project 2021

Made by Peter Schell from Spinifex.

50% whole bunches and 50% whole berries underwent partial carbonic fermentation for six days with gentle foot trodding once a day then seeing old old French oak for six months. 15.4% alc.

The biggest of the six but take a whiff and it's pretty as. The aromas of red flowers, red cherries and raspberries bound from the glass. It gets a little serious and deeper in the mouth creating intrigue and an undeniable moreishness. Blueberries and raspberries are met by red plums. Some meatiness in the form of pan juices finds some wriggle room but the juicy red fruit tempo has me skipping about. Those who enjoy bigger styles will love this. The generosity and embracing appeal are fabulous.

Drink to five years+


Schwarz Grenache Project 2021

Made by Jason Schwarz from Schwarz Wine Co., he loves using whole bunches and there is no surprise he's used 100% here. 

Six days of carbonic maceration (50%) brings the party machine to the remainder that was foot tread and pumped over on alternate days for nine days. It sees old French oak for six months. 14.5% alc.

Savoury on the nose, this is the most curious Grenache of the range. Sarsparilla, cola and an array of savoury things from the whole bunches. Cloves take some time to muster the courage to move forward.

Mouthfilling, it slowly dries out with powdery and dusty tannins. Some black fruits try to squeeze through but the red apples, dark cherries and chocolate dipped raspberries keep it at bay. A little char courtesy of the old oak can be seen but the drying finish has moreish appeal. Resistance is futile.

Drink to five years.


Stansborough Slade Grenache Project 2021

Made by Craig Stansborough and Mark Slade from Purple Hands.

The fruit for this wine was picked a day later than the other five.

30% whole bunches were used for an eleven day fermentation that was hand plunged 3 times a day seeing old French oak for six months. 14.5% alc.

Pretty aromas sing - think purple flowers and dried red petals. This interpretation shows more dark berries, probably the darkest of all. Some mulberries try to get amongst the action. Dangerously smooth, it glides along with ease. A shimmer of spice plus puffs of earth and a little dried herb, dusty tannins complement all before very well. There's a focus and concentration on the mid-palate that draws your attention. The more I look the more I want and the pretty blue fruit only intensifies the desire. A wine to be held with two hands, it has a broad frame that needs that extra support. Fine spices hum on a long and considered finish. I'll just be nestled over here in a cozy spot with a glass or two.

Drink to five years+


Thank you to Artisans of Barossa for the opportunity to sample the wines from the excellent project.

Region: Barossa
RRP: $250 (one of each in a six pack)
Source: Sample

Winery Website

Subscribe to Qwine here

Follow me: Twitter and Instagram 

If you enjoy the reviews, consider a donation: