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Betz Family Winery La Cote Rousse Syrah 2016

Syrah/Shiraz from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • JD95
  • RP94
  • JS94
  • WS90
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • RP96
  • JD96
  • RP96
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • WE93
  • W&S92
  • WS91
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • RP95
  • WE94
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This year, the final blend of La Côte Rousse included barrels from all 4 blocks of Red Mountain Syrah. Clone 383 brings the softest texture, and most perfume to the blend. Delicate notes of lavender and iron are its hallmark. Clone 99 is the most concentrated and structured. Here the fruits lean toward blackberry and raspberry, where both tannin and acid are abundant.. Clone 174 expresses the ripest character of the French clones, combining boysenberry, and pomegranate. At Ranch at the end of the Road, the early ripening Tablas creek clone provides blueberry fruit and smoky meatiness.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Syrah La Cote Rousse is built around clone 99, all from Red Mountain, that saw 45% whole clusters in the fermentation. This cuvee, which is also moving more and more toward Ciel du Cheval, is 88% from this terrific site. It’s another inky purple colored red with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spice, dried herbs, and mineral aromas and flavors. Still tight, backward and reserved, yet with beautiful potential, this full-bodied, ripe, layered Syrah needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years.
Rating: 95+
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Syrah La Côte Rousse reveals notes of purple flowers, crunchy dark berry fruit and cracked pepper, followed by a medium-bodied, youthfully chewy but fine-grained palate that's bright and chalky. Taut and concentrated, it will require—and reward—some patience.
Rating: 94+
JS 94
James Suckling
Some much spice and mineral aromas here with hints of cloves and white pepper. Full body, ink and dark fruit and some black olives. A solid and chewy syrah with so much strength yet form. Give it two or three years after release.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Tightly wound and trim, with blueberry, stony mineral and spice flavors that finish with a slight tannic grip. Best from 2021 through 2024.
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Betz Family Winery

Betz Family Winery

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Betz Family Winery , Washington
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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.

As importantly over the years our winery culture has become a way of life in which everyone – our growers, winery team and customers are family.

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.

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Red Mountain

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A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, "Red" Mountain.

Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.

The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.

The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

STC738864_2016 Item# 514330