Son's love helps produce top wine

Last updated 05:00 12/12/2013
Daniel and Thomas Schwarzenbach with the barrel and the wine that came out of it.
Fairfax NZ
BOY'S OWN: Daniel and Thomas Schwarzenbach with the barrel and the wine that came out of it.

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The Schwarzenbach family in Tasman has released a wine that is special to 10-year-old son Thomas.

Thomas's Treasure Dessert Riesling 2008 is named after him.

It is also special because there's only one small barrel of it and it's already has a good review with wine consultant Michael Cooper awarding it five stars.

The story behind the wine goes back to when the family was setting up their Blackenbrook winery and were in Slovenia buying a wine press and other equipment. At a cooperage Daniel Schwarzenbach fell in love with a little 120-litre barrel so it was popped into the shipping container too.

He said when the barrel was unloaded at the Blackenbrook winery in 2006, Thomas then aged 3 took a liking 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."

In 2008, rain just before harvest caused botrytis, and some of the riesling developed "noble rot" the fungus that dehydrates the fruit and concentrates the sugar and flavour. Thomas helped handpick the grapes which had a high 55 Brix, and the wine went into the acacia barrel.

Now cellared for five and a half years it has taken on some of the acacia flavour.

Michael Cooper describes it as: "A wine of great beauty, it is oily and sweet, almost syrupy, with honey, apricot and tea flavours, good acid spine and exceptional depth."

Only 240 small bottles from a total of 309 are being released - the rest will remain as Blackenbrook library stock.

Ursula Schwarzenbach said they were releasing it now for the festive season, and would also be having it with their Christmas dinner.

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