Let's speak simply here: The 2005 Betts and Scholl "O.G." Grenache is one of the best deals of this young year. With a special case-price that brings the bottle down to $25, this is a no-brainer big Aussie red that delivers power with style at a level way beyond its price-point.
Joe and I are rarely so wooed by the big reds of Australia (let alone Grenache!), but the 05 "O.G." has ultra-vivid aromatics that soar out of the glass with an uncanny elegance.
This is old-vine concentration (many vines are over 100 years old) that sees a winemaking regime of old wood which allows the clarity and complexity of the "O.G." to shine through. Rarely have we had Grenache with such purity and focus.
You probably don't heart this too much in regards to Australian reds, but the palate of the "O.G." is elegant and ethereal, with confetti-like strands of strawberry, raspberry, sweet cooked fruits mixing with whispy notes of bramble, pine needles, crushed flower petals, potpourri and spice. With time in the glass, the wine gains a darker complexity - orange zest and roasted earth providing a background to the technicolor strawberry and raspberry.
While this is powerful Aussie Grenache with plenty of Barossa Valley thrust and saturated flavors, there is also a lightness and finesse to this wine that we think would intrigue more old-world wine lovers. The obvious reference point is Grenache-based Chateauneuf-du-Pape, though there is a delicacy here that at least nods toward Burgundy and its great Pinots.
This elegant-yet-brawny paradox also gives the wine a unique versatility; it's both a great cocktail sipper yet also very fluent with a wide spectrum of foods, from a few "shrimps on the barbie" to a Cote de Boeuf (in the oven). My guess is the wine will also sing with lighter fare: chicken, game birds or even seafood - think Salmon with a rich red-wine glaze and winter vegetables.
While sleeker than the Layer Cake, the roasted sweet fruit of the "O.G." will impress fans of "the Cake" - this is definitely a wine to enjoy as we wait for the next vintage of Cake to come in.
The Betts & Scholl is drinking wonderfully right now, though if you take advantage of the case discount being offered, don't hesitate to put some away for a few years.
Our first shipment has just arrived; to celebrate, we're discounting this great Australian red, including a special case offer that brings the price even further down.