From the beginning of their Australian venture in 2001, Americans Richard Betts and Dennis Scholl have aimed for a bit more elegance and refinement in their wines than may be typical of Barossa Valley. That’s why their first efforts focused on Grenache, which feels lighter than the bigger, sturdier Shiraz.
The Chronique, a reserve wine, is made up of lots that feel a bit more complex and compelling than the ones that go into the regular Betts & Scholl Grenache bottling. Mostly, I have consumed all these Grenaches young, but I set aside a few bottles of the 2005. I opened one to drink with roast chicken the other night.
The three extra years in the bottle have buffed the sharp edges of fruit and floral flavors that wowed me when the wine was young. Those characteristics remain as the wine has come together into something more refined and elegant, while the texture has become light and silky. New savory notes are keeping the fruit company. Delicious now, it should keep going under its twist-off cap for at least five more years. 92 points, non-blind.
Winespectator.com members: Read the original tasting review for Betts & Scholl Grenache Barossa Valley The Chronique 2005 (92, $39 on release).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Australian reds.
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — April 16, 2010 4:22pm ET
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