Betz Family Winery La Cote Rousse 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Yakima Valley, Washington
Red 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.
Wine Spectator - "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."
The Wine Advocate - "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. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This Red Montain Syrah spent a year in French oak, half new, half once-used. the fruit is wrapped in smoke and coffee, graphite and mineral scents and flavors. Crystal clear and densely packed, this shows none of the funk common in many Washington Syrahs, but an almost claret-like structure and grip. It should age well for a decade or longer."
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Betz Family Winery
Since its first vintange in 1997, Betz Family Winery has had a single-minded goal of crafting compelling wines with individual character that are approachable and age-worthy, and wich showcase Washington as a distinguished wine region of the world. By carving out specific vineyard blocks and being meticulous in the vineyard and cellar they are able to achieve the quality they aspire to, the result being highly-acclaimed wines that compete on the world stage. Today, Betz Family Winery is headed by two families, committed to be true to their heritage, their family members and true to what Betz embodies: wines of dimension and pleasure that allow the character of Washington to shine through. View all Betz Family Winery Wines
About Yakima ValleyView a map of Yakima Valley wineries
Washington's first appellation, Yakima Valley has over one third of the state's vineyards. The rolling foothills of the Cascades give the vines a good sun angle, so grapes are well-ripened come harvest time. Merlot dominates the plantings here, creating elegant wines with complex fruit, herbs & structure. Syrah continues to grow in popularity, creating blanced wines with spicy black fruit.A few smaller, but notable appellations that lie within or just outside of Yakima Valley include:
Rattlesnake Hills, which gained AVA status in 2006, lies in the north with 17 wineries.
Horse Heaven Hills, another recent sub-appellation hugs the south end of Yakima and is known for its outstanding vineyard sites that create incredible and collectible red wines.
Red Mountain, known for its intense and delicious reds, is located on the eastern side of Yakima Valley.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.