Betz Syrah "La Cote Rousse " 06: Very limited.
Previous vintage notes:
2005 Vintage: Wine Spectator 94 Points:
"Ripe and focused. A plush mouthful of raspberry, black cherry and rhubarb pie flavors play nicely against refined tannins and hints of roasted red pepper and pomegranate on the long, expressive finish. An intense Syrah that seems to float in midair. Best from 2010 through 2015. 360 cases made. –HS"
2004 Vintage: Wine Spectator 95 Points
Deep, dark, dense and powerful, a reverberant mouthful of smoky blackberry, black cherry and licorice, hinting at pepper and cream as the finish sails on and on. Gorgeous stuff, and the tannins are beautifully managed. Best from 2008 through 2014.-H.S.
Packed with dense, ripe flavors and abundant tannin while retaining a textural sweetness. The 2004 has more "French" character than previous vintages: smoke, minerals and gaminess, a wonderful expression of the variety.
Previous vintage 93 points from Tanzer.
One national critic recently wrote that the tannins from Red Mountain red varieties are tough to tame, and that he preferred the softer tannins of other areas in the state. He's right in one sense: typical high summer temperatures in the appellation can build thick-skinned, low juice fruit, jammed with tannins. But he missed something in the winemaker's quest to reveal a "sense of place" in a finished wine (terroir, if you want to speak French). We don't want all our wines to be homogenous expressions of the cellar, but rather reflections of the fundamental character of where they originated.
We're conscious of this potential for excess tannins when we work with Red Mountain grapes in the cellar. We pay close attention to the tannin development throughout winemaking; during crush, fermentation, and "drain and press" we taste each tank 2-3 times/day to evaluate the increase in tannin, and focus all our steps on extracting all the sweet skin tannins and avoiding astringent seed tannins. Each step helps insure the overall balance of abundant sweet tannin.
The 2004 La C?te Rousse Syrah is just such a wine: packed with dense, ripe flavors and abundant tannin while retaining a textural sweetness. It unites two Red Mountain vineyards, Scott Williams whose grapes we've used since our first Syrah, and Ciel du Cheval which we introduced into the 2003 vintage. La C?te Rousse speaks the language of the appellation, with a power, structure and longevity that differentiates it from the La Serenne, grown only 25 miles away. The 2004 has more "French" character than previous vintages: smoke, minerals and gaminess, a wonderful expression of the variety. This is even more cellar worthy than La Serenne, with a solid decade ahead of it. - the winery