An Approach to Relaxation Sucette Grenache 2017  Front Label
An Approach to Relaxation Sucette Grenache 2017  Front LabelAn Approach to Relaxation Sucette Grenache 2017  Front Bottle Shot

An Approach to Relaxation Sucette Grenache 2017

  • W&S96
  • RP94
  • V94
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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  • RP93
  • V93
  • W&S92
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
The cool, late-ripening 2017 season played right into the hands of Carla Rzeszewski and Richard Betts, the sommelier power-couple behind An Approach to Relaxation. That was the year they purchased a 12-acre parcel of dry-farmed grenache vines, mostly planted between 1860 and 1880, growing in the deep sands of Vine Vale. The vines had contributed fruit to Sucette’s 2016 vintage, and provided more than half of the 2017 (by 2019, Sucette was entirely from that estate parcel). They make the wine half a mile away, fermenting it with some whole clusters in open-top vats, then aging it in old French oak barrels. Open the bottle and pour a glass: You’ll get a blast of peppery grenache, the bright sunlight stored in the fruit immediately released. It might be worth the price of admission if the wine went south then and there, but that sunny energy and the sand-driven tannins only gain dynamism with air; the delicate strawberry, the darker black raspberry depths, the lavender fragrance and unreal length of flavor make the wine compellingly drinkable for days. A Barossa classic reimagined (think Robert O’Callaghan’s great Dry-Grown Grenache vintages at Rockford Basket Press), this is a wine that has held fast in my memory for weeks after tasting it. The only downside in buying a case is the separation anxiety you are likely to feel on opening the last bottle, and the cravings that may come after finishing it.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The medium-ruby 2017 Sucette is another fine example of sand-grown Barossa Valley Grenache. Boasting seductive, rose-like aromas, hints of five-spice powder and a deep base of cherry fruit, it's supremely silky in texture, gently filling the mouth with gossamer goodness, then slowly fading into lingering notes of cracked pepper, star anise and even a bit of ginger. While not overly tannic, it's concentrated and balanced, with the potential to drink well for at least 5-7 years.
V 94

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.

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An Approach to Relaxation

An Approach to Relaxation

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An Approach to Relaxation, Australia

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

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Barossa Valley Wine

Barossa, Australia

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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.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Shiraz on its own or Rhône Blends. Often Shiraz and Cabernet partner up for plump and powerful reds.

While much less prevalent, light-skinned varieties such as Riesling, Viognier or Semillon produce vibrant Barossa Valley whites.

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 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.

SWS995461_2017 Item# 789508

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