An Approach to Relaxation Sucette Grenache 2016
The Rza Block fruit used for this wine gives a very clear backbone of darker fruit here; all red fruits (rather than black), but Winter red fruits like cranberry and pomegranate in addition to the Summer strawberries and cherries. The structure of the very old vines is also on display, holding together a fantastic nugget of ripe fruit on the palate. White pepper, mint, sweet meats and earth.
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The 2016 Sucette is floral and fresh despite being 14.5% alcohol, as only Grenache grown in sandy soils can be. This is from vines planted in the 19th century in the Vine Vale subregion of Barossa. Rose petals and hints of orange zest accent cherry and raspberry fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, with tender tannins that turn silky and tea-like on the long, refreshing finish. It seems almost briny and zesty on the finish, giving it extra length.
Richard Betts and Carla Rza Betts moved to Vine Vale to grow grenache in the area’s deep sands. They purchased a block of vines planted between 1860 and 1880, dry farmed across the road from their winery, where they ferment the wine with some whole clusters in open-top vats, then age it in old French oak barrels. It’s spicy and bright, a transparent raspberry red with some deeper flavors underneath. Tense, floral and juicy, this is ready to pour with roast duck.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in the Barossa zone of South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.