Betz Family Impulse
Fellow wine lovers, I’ve mentioned here and there that Washington’s 2012 vintage is looking like a showstopper, based on the few wines I’ve tasted thus far. Betz Family Winery recently premiered their 2012’s, and they’re a clear example of just how good the wines of this vintage can be. Winemaker Bob Betz says, “After two years of challenging harvests… 2012 was brilliant right from the start”, stating that the wines are comparable to the the highly coveted 2007 vintage.
Jeb Dunnuck, of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, sampled them back in June and proclaimed them to be, “easily some of the greatest wines I’ve tasted from this estate to date. While these wines always have considerable structure and focused profiles, these 2012 have an extra dimension of depth and texture, and should not be missed!”
Tight allocation this year, as Betz has provided us just a case each of the following two wines. Word got early, and I ended up parting with 2 bottles of each already, so we’re down to just 10 bottles each of the La Cote Rousse Syrah, and the Besoleil Grenache.
Often I lean toward the soft spoken nature of the La Serenne Syrah, this year however my hands down favorite is the La Cote Rousse. Powerful and dense, this wine’s quiet strength easily makes it my favorite vintage of La Cote Rousse in recent memory. Showcasing full body alongside firm yet polished tannins, the 2012 La Cote Rousse sets the standard for Red Mountain Syrah, obliging all others towards aspirations for this level of complexity and expressiveness of terroir.
Still youthful, closed up tight, it definitely needs to be cellared for a while, and will benefit from decanting. It’s deep and dark with inky blackberry, stewed plums, violets, black olives, and ripe blueberries. Bob refers to it as, “the sturdiest of our three 2012 Syrahs and its concentration and sheer power will easily support a decade or two in your cellar.”
Jeb Dunnuck gives it an impressive 95 points. I have just 10 bottles, and they’re available first come, first serve.
Click here to order the Betz La Cote Rousse Syrah
Region: Red Mountain
Vineyards: 65% Ciel du Cheval, 35% Ranch at the End of the Road
Grape: 100% Syrah
Aging: 100% French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: 2015 through 2023, decanting recommended
Alcohol: 14.2% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Saint Joseph, Hermitage
Press: Robert Parker 95 pts.
Food Pairings: Grilled Game
Availability: 10 bottles
A shining example, not only of the stupendous 2012 vintage, but also of why Washington State is getting national acclaim for our Rhone style wines. No counoise in this year’s blend, as Bob felt it lacked the depth of character he was looking for, Besoleil features 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Mourvedre, and 15% Syrah, aged in 100% neutral French oak.
It’s starts with notes of herbs de provence and black raspberries, moves into tellicherry peppercorn flavors and notes of scorched earth, and finished big with a taste of black cherry. A beautiful wine that can use some cellar time to open up.
Jeb Dunnuck wrote for the Wine Advocate, “it has fantastic density and depth, with medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful freshness and classic Grenache-driven aromas and flavors… Already hard to resist, it should evolve gracefully for over a decade.”
It received a 94 point score from Jeb, which definitely puts it among the highest scoring Grenache blends from Washington State.
I have just 10 bottles, and they are available on a first come first serve basis.
Click here to order the Betz Besoleil Grenache
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Grapes: 50 % Grenache 20% Cinsault 15% Mourvedre 15% Syrah
Aging: 100% Neutral French Oak
Drinkability: Now through 2021
Alcohol: 14.7% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Press: 94 points RP
Food Pairings: Jerk chicken, pork tenderloin, beef stew
Availability: 10 bottles