"We have come to regard it as the well-endowed, warm climate analogy of Pinot Noir." An Approach To Relaxation
You will know by now that Grenache (in the right hands) is one our go to red grapes for value, intrigue, quality and drinkability. We love it when it is from old vine material that is grown on sand, and each example we’ve offered through Press has been. This may be the best one yet.
Grenache on sand maintains a fragrant perfume, pure fruits and silky, open texture. The old vines regulate yields and deliver concentration and spice, and we are lucky to have a few of these in Australia. Only 1% of Australia’s vineyard land is planted to Shiraz, and even less is old vine material on sand. Winemakers that recognise the qualities and don’t shower the wine in new oak make the best examples, and that is the remit of this weeks producer… the aptly named ‘An Approach To Relaxation’.
An Approach To Relaxation is American wine couple Master Sommelier Richard Betts and Carla Betts. They are passionate about Grenache, on sand, in old French oak, and have committed to it in purchasing 6 hectares in vines in Barossa Valley’s Vine Vale sub region in the Eastern part of the region. This is a small patch of land with ancient quartzite and granite sands, surrounded by the harder clay dirt of the rest of the region. The vines here were planted between 1860 and 1880, and these vines still produce intense, alluring fruit.
Richard and Carla, from America, live in Amsterdam and fly out for each vintage. Outside of vintage they are travelling the worlds major dining cities spruiking the quality of Australian Grenache… we are lucky to have adopted them.
The wine is dark fruited, rich, earthy with licks of coffee, dry herb, dry fruit, licorice, cedar and orange peel. The palate is impressive, juicy, generous but always with a silky finesse. It is a dry wine but there is a sweetness of dry cranberry fruit, which dissipates and heads to spice and soon as you enjoy it with some heavier foods.
Decant this wine, serve in large stems, Burgundy or Shiraz and enjoy the aroma. It is a great winter wine to serve with most foods. Roast veggies, grilled meats, smoked meats, meat based pastas and hard cheeses. Only a few hundred cases made and a future cult wine.
Tom and Dan