An Approach to Relaxation Sucette Grenache 2017
The ‘18 shows the old vine fruit density with notes of earth, cedar, cranberry and kirsch, velvety tannins, and high toned aromatics of orange zest and spices.
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Shimmering ruby. Vibrant, sharply focused red fruit and floral scents are complicated by peppery spice, botanical herb and smoky mineral notes. Juicy and energetic on the palate, showing strong, spicy lift to its intense raspberry, cherry, lavender pastille and spice cake flavors, which deepen with air. Finishes sweet, seamless and impressively long, with polished tannins adding shape and gentle grip.
USA born sommeliers Richard and Carla Rza Betts have a long said great Grenache is the warm climate analogy of Pinot Noir. During many miles and a fair amount of travel around the globe, they always kept their eyes open for the sandy terroir and cool climate that give the best Grenache that extra something special. Their search came to an end in Vine Vale, where they discovered a 150+ year-old Grenache vineyard (The Rza Block) set on sandy soil in one of coolest microclimates in the Barossa Valley. The vines are own-rooted, head-trained, and dry- and organically farmed. From this tiny vineyard they make their Sucette Grenache. Winemaking is low-touch, a portion of whole bunch, fermented in open-top fermenters. Grapes are basket pressed to old French oak and left to do their own thing, to preserve all the nuances this lovely old site imparts to the fruit. The result—an elegant but ample, sexy and delicious bottle that the couple say finds it’s way onto their table rather frequentl
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.