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Betts & Scholl Hermitage Rouge 2005

Rhone Red Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
  • WS92
14% ABV
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3.0 1 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Betts & Scholl is a joint effort between Master Sommelier Richard Betts and contemporary art collector Dennis Scholl. Betts & Scholl have forged relationships with several wine making legends in France, Australia and the United States who are passionate about making expressive, elegant and terroir driven wines. The Hermitage wines are a collaborative effort between Betts & Scholl and the legendary Chave family.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Very juicy, with lots of fig, currant paste and crushed plum fruit flavors that race ahead of dark tar, licorice and bittersweet cocoa notes. The long, toasty finish has plenty of grip. Best from 2010 through 2017.
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Betts & Scholl

Betts & Scholl

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Betts & Scholl, Hermitage, Rhone, France
2005 Hermitage Rouge
Betts & Scholl is a cooperative effort between Richard Betts, Master Sommelier & winemaker and Dennis Scholl, contemporary art collector and joyous wine drinker, who typically finds himself either in Aspen or Miami Beach. Together, they created special relationships with star growers and winemakers from around the world to share in the Betts & Scholl vision.

This partnership is totally dedicated to making great wine as Richard & Dennis see it, which is, ultimately, wine that they like to drink. No trophies, no wine for competition, just wine for the table — wine made to be enjoyed in the spirit of those wines that got Richard hooked on the whole deal in the first place. This is to say wine you can drink everyday — a grocery, if you will — something that is on the table at lunch, at dinner, in harmony with food, an essential part of the meal. This notion is fundamental to great living all over Europe, and it's one that Betts & Scholl aims to bring back and live every day.

So Betts & Scholl chose to make the good stuff! Richard & Dennis' shared aesthetic spoke for elegant, complex, balanced wines of great perfume and finesse with the power to seduce. The object of the B&S fancy is neither the obvious nor the forceful. Instead it is those wines that transport: They taste only of the place from where they’ve come. Come take the trip.

Hermitage

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One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.

Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.

The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.

While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

UWWBS1054_2005 Item# 106487

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