Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
The 2008 La Serenne is a black purple color, all the way to the edge, and has penetrating aromas and depth of favor. Like the previous years, La Serenne shows the same sauvage (wild) character that Syrah from a cooler site can take on: blackberry and black cherry are accented by anise, rocks, spice and leather. It's dense and yet supple, with the usual La Serenne seamlessness, and has a lift that keeps it bright and sailing through to the finish.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Syrah La Serenne is sourced entirely from the Boushey Vineyard in Yakima Valley. It is aged for 12 months in 50% new French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it delivers a brooding bouquet of smoke, Asian spices, incense, lavender, game, blueberry, and plum. Dense, layered, and powerful, it manages to maintain a sense of elegance and balance. It has enough structure to evolve for several years and should drink well through 2023."
Wine Enthusiast - "Among all the new releases from Betz Family, the La Serenne is the least approachable. Almost enigmatic in its reluctance to open, the wine remains stubbornly tight after a full 24 hours of breathing. The nose shows the barrel influences in a range of toast, coffee and mocha scents. Flavors bring black cherry, cassis, hints of black olive and a little brown sugar, but overall the wine seems shortened, almost dumb. At this point, the score is a best guess, and could go even higher as the wine ages."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright medium ruby. Crushed blackberry, pomegranate, bitter chocolate and flinty minerality on the rather wild nose. Dense and vibrant on the palate, conveying an impression of serious phenolic content. Very dark flavors of blue and black fruits, licorice and violet. Highly complex wine with a firm tannic underpinning for aging. Betz notes that these Boushey Vineyard vines are planted on very old pre-flood soils, which are more minerally and less loamy than soils rich in flood sediments.
Wine Spectator - "Smooth and velvety in texture, with juicy acidity underlying vibrant blackberry and boysenberry fruit, veering toward bay leaf and cocoa on the expressive finish."
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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 Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
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.