Talking Prämie with Schild Estate’s winemaker Scott Hazeldine

Hailing from the Southern Barossa, Schild Estate has welcomed the latest edition to its portfolio; the Prämie Limited Release 2013 Shiraz.

Translating to ‘premier’ in English, the name Prämie celebrates the German roots of the Schild family and uses fruit from specific parcels of land on the Schild property to create a premium, medium bodied shiraz.

Developed to be positioned between the winery’s Ben Schild Reserve Shiraz and its limited release Moorooroo, chief winemaker Scott Hazeldine says that what excited him most about developing Prämie was the level of freedom that he had in terms of picking the wine’s fruit.

“With the Ben Schild and the Moorooroo, those two wines are really tied to specific vineyards, so every year the fruit comes off two particular parcels of land, and they really reflect what has happened to those particular parcels in terms of seasonal conditions,” Hazeldine told Food Magazine.

“We’re lucky enough that the family has substantial vineyard holdings outside of Ben Schild and Moorooroo including a number of other individual parcels that are really quite impressive and worthy of showcasing on their own.”

Naturally, the quality of the fruit varies each year depending on vintage conditions, and Hazeldine says that the idea behind creating the Prämie was to collate specific parcels that the Schild team thought were worthy of showcasing outside of the Ben Schild and Moorooroo vines, and creating a new drop from there.

“The scope when we started was quite wide, than as went through the process, we narrowed it down,” he says.

“It’s really much more about feel and gut instinct once the fruit is in the door. We kind of know where the good parcels are but it’s more about which ones really captured us that season and got us excited. We have a bit of freedom in that if one parcel didn’t get us particularly excited, we wouldn’t make that wine. We’re not tied into the same vineyard every year which allows us to react a bit more to the season.”

Hazeldine says that the 2013 vintage marked an incredible year in terms of growing conditions in the Barossa – something that is reflected strongly in the Limited Release 2013 Prämie Shiraz. Hazeldine says that the combination of perfect weather, great vines and great soil has resulted in cracking wine that is characterised by a deep dark ruby colour that is bolstered by rich blackberry and fresh blood plum fruit aromas.

According to Hazeldine, the creation of Prämie has also allowed the winery to explore some different styles of Shiraz as well that are somewhat removed from the full bodied, opulent styles that the Barossa is famous for.

“We are right down the Southern end of the Barossa and traditionally, it’s the South that has given you those slightly lighter wines with fine tannins,” he says.

“Prämie comes from high up on the Eastern Hills of the Barossa, and we are trying to use a bit of elevation and some cooler air to get a wine that’s a little bit more structured, and not quite as open and voluptuous as some of our other Shiraz. It’s been really nice to be able to do that.”

“I think in the Barossa generally, wine makers are looking more towards that lighter kind of style with a bit more control, as opposed to 10 – 20 years ago when we were really trying to pack as much flavour as we could and in some shape or form, we probably overdid it a little bit.

“You’ve got a lot of winemakers between their mid-20 and early 40s who have spent a lot of time overseas drinking far and wide and bringing back a bit of knowledge of those styles, then adapting them to Barossa fruit and realising that we are packed full of flavour here already, so it’s just about trying to keep some control and finesse on the wines.”    

Prämie was officially unveiled at Sean's Kitchen in Adelaide on Monday 18 May which was followed by an intimate dinner at Foveaux Street dining in Sydney on Wednesday 20 May.


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