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Betz Family Winery Syrah La Cote Rousse 09
Regular retail price $60.
One of Washington's best Syrahs for several years running, the 2009 La Cote Rousse is explosive. Peppered, smoked bacon melds with rich black and blue berries, accented by Asian spices. This is dense and brooding - I recommend cellaring for at least 4 years. - Marcus
2009 Wine Advocate - 93 points - The 2009 Syrah La Cote Rousse (100%) was sourced from two of the better Red Mountain vineyards and aged for 12 months in 50% new French oak. Sexy aromas of smoke, exotic spices, brier, incense, blueberry, and black raspberry lead to a plush, layered, round Syrah with a sense of elegance. This lengthy, concentrated, nicely proportioned effort will also evolve for 2-3 years and provide pleasure through 2023. - Jay Miller
One of the blackest of the 2009 Syrahs with super density, yet an approachability that's uncommon for this blend. Very sweet in the nose, with big black cherries, smoke, floral spice and an earthy/truffle note. This is Red Mountain at its best, with dimension yet elegance, packed black fruits, yet a creamy, plush impression.
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
2008 Wine Spectator - 95 points - Supple and open-textured, with a gorgeous array of dark plum, currant and blackberry fruit sailing through the full-throated finish. Not at all heavy, just exuberant. The finish lasts and lasts. Drink now through 2017. - H.S.
2008 Wine Advocate - 94 points - The 2008 Syrah La Cote Rousse was sourced from the Ciel du Cheval and Kiona Vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA and was aged for 12 months in 50% new French oak. A bit lighter in color but with more mineral and earth notes as well as meaty blue and black fruit aromas, on the palate it is more structured (something for which Red Mountain fruit is noted) but the tannins are nicely integrated behind layers of concentrated, spicy fruit. This lengthy offering will benefit from 5-7 years of additional cellaring and should easily see its 20th birthday in fine form."
From the winery -
Red Mountain vineyards once again put their signature on this wine. Despite the blend of four clones from two vineyards, 2008 La CRed Mountain vineyards once again put their signature on this wine. Despite the blend of four clones from two vineyards, 2008 La Côte Rousse ultimately is strongly influenced by its origin. The firm palate grip, slower evolution of tannins and great breadth ultimately distinguishes this from our other Syrahs, and those characteristics are because of its Red Mountain origins.
This year's blend is nearly equal portions of the two vineyards so it meshes the sinewy complexity of Ciel du Cheval with the sweet pure fruit of Kiona Vineyards. The result is a black red core with a deep edge. Blackberry, earth and licorice dominate the aroma, while a penetrating meaty, blue/black fruit note dominates the flavor. It has the typical La Côte Rousse dimension and with its additional tannin should cellar for years to come.
Serve cool, 60-62°F. Best from 2012 through 2018.
The showstopper. Richer, fatter, and more accessible aromas and flavors than the La Serenne - a more "typical" profile of Washington Syrah. But theres nothing typical about La Cote Rousse, because it trumps the competition with fantastically rich black cherry, raspberry, and plum plus bacon, licorice and purple flowers. The finish hangs on forever, adding sweet thyme and lavender. - Marcus
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 93 points: The 2007 La Cote Rousse is 100% Syrah primarily from Kiona and Ciel du Cheval Vineyards. Purple/black in color with legs that ooze slowly down the glass, the nose reveals aromas of balsam wood, mineral, earth notes, blueberry and blackberry. Dense, layered, and youthful, the wine has enough structure to evolve for 6-8 years. This Hermitage-like Syrah will drink well from 2014 to 2027.
Betz Family Winery remains one of Washington’s benchmarks for top quality wines from Rhone and Bordeaux grape varieties. Bob Betz’s 2007 collection shows him continuing at the top of his game (with plenty of help from his family).
The only one of our three Syrahs to come from two separate vineyards, sited about a mile from each other on Red Mountain. Three French clones and the classic "Phelps" clone combine in a multi-layered expression of fruit, dried herbs and earth. The French clones are grown at Ciel du Cheval, while the Phelps comes from Scott Williams "ranch at the end of the road".
This mix of sites and clones provides a wine of dimension and complexity. This 07 vintage is expressive with black raspberry, plums, black olive and a rocky minerality. Lush and sweet on the palate its more integrated early on than some past vintages, offering immediate appeal. But the Red Mountain heritage certainly provides ample structure for cellaring. - the winery
"... 60% French clones from Ciel du Cheval, the rest Phelps clone from End of the Road. Supple, firm, compact, with black olive, mineral, red licorice, currant and pomegranate fruits. Bass notes if you will, of rock, iron and clay. Is the 2007 as massive as the astonishing 2006? I think its too early to tell, but even if a shade less powerful, it is just as complex and detailed." Paul Gregutt, Paulgregutt.com, Seattle Times
"from the Boushey vineyard, where the same rows have been farmed for Betz since 2000. Less than two tons/acre were picked in 07 – yielding a wine with even more concentration than usual. It's so compact that its almost impenetrable, but the gorgeous aromas portend a glorious wine with appropriate bottle age and/or breathing time. A dark, dusty mix of black fruits, black olives, black coffee and licorice, this has such density that its almost impossible to separate out all the fruit layers, let alone the earthier components that make Boushey syrah so distinctive. At 14.8% alcohol, this may be the biggest Betz Boushey Syrah ever, and definitely a wine to cellar."
Betz Family Winery Syrah La Cote Rousse 06 received 95 points from Robert Parkers Wine Advocate:
"The 2006 Syrah La Cote Rousse is 100% varietal sourced from two vineyards, Purple/black in color, it offers up an array of aromas including bacon, sausage, spice box, smoke, pepper, and tar reminiscent of a Guigal La Landonne. Dense, layered, and opulent, this powerful effort should hit its peak by 2015 and provide pleasure through 2030."
The winery says: "presents the "yang" to La Serennes "yin". Its made from four different clones from two different vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Scott Williams. This mix of sites and clones endows it with a layered complexity and extraordinary dimension. Yet its the overall appellation that ultimately drives this wine: exclusively from Red Mountain fruit, La Cote Rousse reflects the power and muscle of this warmer site.
Black red in the glass, and deeply scented with black fruits, spice, black pepper, minerals and smoked meats, it presents a full spectrum of aromatic and palate impressions. While more powerful, this is the most integrated vintage yet of La Cote Rousse, with a juicy sweetness and suppleness."
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"
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.
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 Cote 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 Cote 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
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