2014 Sucette, Barossa Valley Grenache, $55
Winery info: This project was created by Richard Betts, master sommelier and former wine director at Little Nell in Aspen, and his partner, Carla Rzeszewski, former wine director at numerous New York destination restaurants. The two shared a love of the legendary Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is always 100% Grenache. After searching the globe for the right combination of soil, climate, and older vines where they could produce the kind of Grenache they loved to drink, they found it in Australia.
Winemaker: Produced with Christian Canute, winemaker at the highly regarded Rusden Wines in the Vine Vale district in the Barossa Valley
Grapes: 100% Grenache, from 90+ year-old, organically farmed, own-rooted vines.
Vineyard source: The Vine Vale district of the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Unique in that it consists of deep, sandy soils over red clay. Gully breezes cool the vines in this part of the valley and Grenache grown here tends to be aromatic and light in color.
Flavor profile: A very elegant, sumptuous Grenache, with great depth of flavor from the old vines grown in a cool, sandy region. Like a New World Châteaunuef-du-Pape.
Production/Availability: The distributor still has a few cases left.
Drinkability: This one is drinking great now.
Food Pairing: Roasted meats, such as lamb or duck.
2013 Pascal Bouchard, Chablis, Fourchaume 1er Cru, $39
Winery info: Bouchard is a medium sized, family-owned domain in Chablis dating back five generations, with excellent vineyard holdings, both Grand Cru and Premier Cru.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Vineyard source: From the Premier Cru “climat” of Fourchaume, climat being a vineyard site possessing a unique expression of its particular terroir. Fourchaume lies adjacent to the northerly slopes of the Grand Cru Chablis vineyards and the best wines from here can have a similar profile, but without the hefty price tag. Bouchard’s oldest vines here were originally planted by André Tremblay (Pascal married into the family). The soil is deep marl and Kimmeridgian limestone.
Flavor profile: Rich and complex, with perfectly balanced, fresh acidity. This wine definitely conveys a sense of the profound character of a Grand Cru Chablis.
Availability: Very limited, as the distributor received only four cases.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime in the next couple of years.
Food Pairing: Fish, shellfish, escargot, or sushi.