Betts & Scholl, the small wine label owned by sommelier Richard Betts and his friend Dennis Scholl, an art collector, is now branching out from Australia to the Rhône Valley.
This summer, Betts plans to release 150 cases each of red and white Hermitage from the 2001 vintage. Rhône aficionados will want to play close attention. The wine is partially sourced from parcels owned by Jean-Louis Chave and vinified by Chave himself at his family winery in Mauves. Additional grapes are purchased from other growers in Hermitage.
The wine will carry a label designed by artist Mark Grotjahn, in keeping with Betts & Scholl's tradition of having contemporary artists design the labels for its wines. The wine will be available at retailers, as well as at www.bettsandscholl.com. There will be no Betts & Scholl Hermitage from 2002 or 2003, because of those vintages' reduced crops--caused by rain in 2002, and drought in 2003--but there are plans for a 2004.
Betts, 35, has been the sommelier at the Little Nell, which holds a Wine Spectator Grand Award for its wine list, for six years. He initially formed the label in 2001 to focus on Australian Grenache and Riesling. Betts & Scholl also has a California Syrah in the works, produced in tandem with Randy and Debbie Lewis of Lewis Cellars in Napa Valley. That wine is also slated for release this summer.
To learn more about this winery, read New Wines, New Faces: Betts & Scholl.