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Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • RP94
  • W&S91
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • WS90
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WE95
  • RP94
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's 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.
WE 92
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.
WS 91
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

Betz Family Winery

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Betz Family Winery , Columbia Valley, Washington
2008 La Serenne Syrah
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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.


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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

WBW30076992_2008 Item# 122429