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Betts & Scholl Chronique Grenache 2006

Grenache from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • WS93
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Wine Spectator's Harvey Steinman writes: 'Americans Richard Betts, sommelier at Montagna, the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning restaurant at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., and Dennis Scholl, a Miami-based collector of contemporary art, teamed up in 2001 to start the Betts & Scholl label and make Grenache in Australia. They have since added projects in the Rhône and California, but the flagship wine is The Chronique, a Grenache of arresting presence and vivid flavor. Australian Grenache seldom gets this much finesse to go along with power. Betts and Scholl buy grapes from growers with old vines in Barossa. Betts flies to Australia four or five times a year to work with winemaker Christian Canute, who shepherds the wines through his Rusden winery. In tasting what the individual vineyards did in 2003, Betts and Canute kept going back to one lot, entranced by its floral, creamy berry flavors. "It was chronic," Betts says. Hence the name."'

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Firm in texture, with tremendous focus to the blackberry, cherry, anise seed and cardamom aromas and flavors. Not heavy at all, but sleek and expressive—and extra-long on the vibrant finish. Best from 2009 through 2016.
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Betts & Scholl

Betts & Scholl

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Betts & Scholl, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
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.

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Barossa Valley

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.

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.

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Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

UWWBS1039_2006 Item# 106475