A Surprising and Delightful Australian Red

2007 Betts & Scholl OG Grenache   $27.99

Red wine number 2, out of 4, was the one which provoked much discussion and guessing. Light in color. Very fragrant and engaging bouquet. A combination of ripe sweet fruits balanced by tobacco and smoke. This quite carried over to the palate. It is always wonderful to find a wine in which the aroma and taste are in harmony. This was a lively, layered, elegant wine which convinced by seduction not by power. We all agreed that it was very good and worthy of recommendation and re-order. Definitely not a Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah, Nebiollo or Sangiovese Possibly a Pinot Noir from a warm region? What other grape would deliver finesse, elegance, sprightly acidity and seductive fruit?
That left Tempranillo or Garncha if Spanish, Carignan or Grenache if French. Well as the title tells you, the wine was from Australia and is indeed 100% Grenache—very old vines Grenache averaging around 100 years. The source of the wine is not a grower/producer but 2 guys—one a well known Sommelier, the other an art dealer with an unquenchable palate for distinctive wines—whose names appear on the label—Betts (the Sommelier and Scholl (the art guy). They source the fruit and have the wines they choose and label made in the fashion they believe will make for a compelling experience. They have chosen to concentrate on Barossa reds from Australia, Northern Rhone reds and whites and California Syrahs.  They then commission artists whose work they respect to create labels for their wines. Here are a few words from them about this Grenache—which they call OG or original Grenache from vines that were never attacked by the Phylloxera louse which nearly destroyed the vineyards in France in the late 19th century and more recently in California—from Richard Betts and Dennis Scholl: “Grenache is our fancy. This is really so because we see it as the warm climate analogy of Pinot Noir. It is like Pinot but just a little more generous. These 100 year old Grenache vines from the Barossa Valley sing a sweet song of things like strawberries, raspberries, flowers, earth and spice.” This is not hype—you will find these qualities in the wine, just as we did. This is a very versatile wine indeed. Except perhaps for very heavy food, it will go handsomely with most cuisines. A lovely red wine at a reasonable price.
-Bob Millman

2007 Betts & Scholl OG Grenache   $27.99

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Filed under Australia, Blind Tasting

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