Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
"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. This full-bodied, ripe, layered Syrah needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years." 95+ pts - Jeb Dunnuck
"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." 94+ - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"So 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." 94 pts - James Suckling
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"Possessing even more Merlot than the 2014, the 2015 Clos de Betz is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot brought up in a mix of barrels. Its chocolatey plum, tobacco leaf, licorice and damp earth aromatics give way to a medium to full-bodied, polished, pretty style on the palate that shines for its elegance and freshness. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 92-94 pts
Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling
"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade." 92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
Full, dark ruby-red. Black fruit and licorice aromas are complicated by a mineral element. Wonderfully sappy, concentrated and ripe, with well-delineated Merlot-dominated flavors of black fruits, licorice and bitter chocolate conveying sexy sweetness. Finishes with plush tannins and excellent length. A superb vintage for this wine, clearly more concentrated and ripe than the 2016. Winemaker Skinner told me that the Petit Verdot element from Olsen vineyard is somewhat Pinot-like and actually softens this wine's tannins. And he noted that the cool late-season temperatures in 2017 allowed for easy picking. (aged until June of '18 in 60% new oak before being moved to neutral barrels for nearly another year of aging)
- Stephen Tanzer 93 Points
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Clos de Betz has a vibrant expression on the nose, with plush, generous fruit aromas and an underlying brooding tightness. Full-bodied on the palate, the fleshy, plump fruit tones deliver a velvety lushness over the mid-palate, then the wine becomes more dusty and rigid on the finish, ending with oak spices that linger. I will revisit this swine in 36 months, as I suspect it will show better at a later date. This will easily last a decade and more. 750 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points
With our long history of making single site syrah's in Washington, it made sense for us to venture into the Rocks District of Milton Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley to bring you our newest syrah, "Domaine de Pierres."
The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation.
In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express.
The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it. We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!
"This has strident peppery notes with a layer of sappy whole-cluster fragrances and complexity as well as fresh charcuterie meats, smoky notes and graphite. Red plums and blackberries lurk beneath. The palate has deep chocolate and cherry fruits. Very suave, supple tannins carry dark plums, dark chocolate and energetic freshness to the finish. Give this 2-3 years to integrate."
- James Suckling (2018), 95 pts
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Since our first vintage in 1997 we’ve had a single minded goal of crafting compelling wines with individual character that are approachable and ageworthy, and which showcase Washington as a distinguished wine region of the world.
By carving out specific vineyard blocks and being meticulous in the vineyard and cellar we are able to achieve the quality we aspire to.
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 our two families, both committed to be true to our heritage, our family members, and true to what Betz winery embodies: wines of dimension and pleasure, wines that allow the character of Washington to shine through. They are a blend of the best elements of the new and the old worlds; full ripe fruit and yet structured for longevity.
We believe our best wines are yet to come.
Washington’s Columbia Valley is one of the world’s blessed sites to grow classic wine grapes.
Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter Napa Valley Red is made from 66%Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Old Vine Petit Sirah, 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
Under the winemaking and farming direction of Shawn Johnson and Tuck Beckstoffer, vineyard blocks were selected with a blend of micro climates and soils to highlight the best Napa Valley has to offer, creating a wine with complex aromas, purity of fruit, balance, and a long silky finish.
Since the beginning of Mad Hatter in 2003, our goal has been to craft an elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout the Napa Valley. The 2018 vintage continues this commitment, with a sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.
Expressive aromas of black plum, wild hyacinth, and clove. The palette evolves flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and baking spice further enhanced by the wine’s velvety tannins, and long delicate finish. Pair this wine with pan roasted pheasant, grilled root vegetables, or a charred Ribeye steak.
Xavier Vignon Arcane Etoile Beaumes de Venise Rouge is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre.
All the wines from the Arcane range are limited edition. They are the reflection of something extraordinary that happened in the vineyard. The Arcane Etoile is a multi vintage blend from 2015-2016-2017 that reveals the complexity and remarkable freshness of these high altitude Beaumes de Venise terroirs. Maceration with viognier skins.
The Beaumes de Venise terroir neighbours Gigondas and Vacqueyras. These Triassic soils (sand, limestone, clay) at the foothills of the Dentelles Sarrasines and the Grand Montmirail were specifically chosen for their high altitude (up to 600 metres above sea level) in order to impart freshness and elegance to the wine. The objective here was freshness and counterbalancing the impact of global warming.
It has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine.
Pairs with porcini mushrooms in red wine - Foie gras - Piglet and prune stew - Honey glazed duck breast - Grilled swordfish - Dauphinois potatoes - Creamy garlic lentil and kale bake - Brie with walnuts
"Coming from the higher elevation sites, the NV Beaumes de Venise Arcane Etoile is another elegant, finesse-oriented wine from Xavier that has both richness and freshness. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre as well as a small amount of Viognier from 2015, 2016, and 2017, it has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine that might just be one of the greatest red wines to come from Beaumes de Venise.” - Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 95 pts
Intense mahogany. Deep aroma of dried fruits (raisins, figs) bouquet subtle notes of chocolate and coffee. Smooth and velvety in the mouth with a long after taste.
To be served with desserts, at room temperature or slightly chilled, delicious poured over ice cream.
"Violet color. Aromas and flavors of mashed raisins and prunes and chocolate nuts with a bright, sweet medium-full body and a subtle, long fig paste, mincemeat pie, and baklava finish with no oak. A rich and toothsome PX Sherry with great length and depth."
- Tastings, 2018 World Wine Championships, 93 pts - "EXCEPTIONAL"
Bernardins Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Hommage is made from 75% Muscat petits grains blancs, 25% Muscat petits grains noirs.
The wine shows a golden hue with orangy highlights. Endearing nose of grape, orange peel and a honeyed accent. Mild at point of entry, spendid aromatic intensity, sultana, candied orange, rose petal and refined spice. Our Muscat de Beaumes de Venise has a great age ability.
For every vintage of our Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, the grapes are picked by hand. We press them straightaway to ferment the juice without skins. We don’t add any yeasts and keep the alcoholic fermentation in check by temperature control. Vin Doux Naturel winemaking involves stopping fermentation to preserve the grapes’ natural sweetness. During vinification, we watch the vats day and night and add 95% grape spirit just at the right moment. At this stage, the wine’s final balance is at stake. For the Hommage, we blend different vintages, aged in stain steel vats, to create the complexity of a long lasting wine.
The Hommage is a versatile companion to many deserts. Most expressive with dry biscuits and dry fruits, it retains all its character served with a fruit tart, puff paestry and chocolate or coffe desserts. To appreciate as well with duck breasts and figs. Served with a roquefort or a silton, it is marvellous. Simply as an aperitif with some dry fruit or grilled almonds. It's also a good compagnion for a classy cigars.
Ayni is the quechua name of a principle of reciporcity practised for centuries by the andean cultures, it means in order to receive something you first have to give. Ayni is also the name of our most special vineyard, located in Paraje Altamira one of the best appelations within Uco Valley in Mendoza.
Argentina has a history of sparkling wine production since the early 1960’s.
Tasting Notes: Aged for 18 months on its lees before disgorgement. It’s a creamy with a nice toast aroma. It is made in a well-balanced style, with fine bubbles and a dry, palate-cleansing finish.
Vineyards: 100% Altamira in the Uco Valley subregion
Soil type: Sandy loam over calcium carbonate coated gravels, 30 to 50 cm deep
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Average age of the vines: 10 years
Winemaking: Methode Traditionnelle (Champenoise). Aged sur lattes for 18 months. Made following the tratidional method, fermentation goes until it gets totallay dry. No liquor is added to keep the freshnes, elegance and purity of is clean profile.
A versatile wine, good on its own or paired with any food.
"An impressive first release for this all-Pinot Noir bubbly from Paraje Altamira, aged for 18 months on its lees before disgorgement. It’s a creamy, bready, well-balanced style, with fine bubbles and a dry, palate-cleansing finish. A fizz to watch. 2017-22"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2017), 92 pts
"Perhaps with the same sort of structural power that Altamira reds possess, this sparkling rosé shows something immutable in body, lively texture, bracing acidity. The wine spent 18 months on the lees and this, no doubt, provides flavor complexities well beyond the fruit, but still the fruit predominates with intense aromas, substantial, and crisp, lively acidity. If what you’re looking for is a sparkler for carpaccio or roast beef, this is it."
- Descorchads 2018, 94 pts
Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.
Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.
The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.
On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.
In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.
The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.
We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).
As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.
Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express
Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.
This appellation, located just south of Gigondas, always produced a Provençal, spicy wine and the 2018 Beaumes De Venise is no exception, showing a ruby/purple hue, notes of herbes de Provence, ground pepper, and garrigue, loads of raspberry and blackberry fruits, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s an undeniably delicious, balanced, gulpable beauty to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts
Capitain Gagnerot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
SOILSChalky soil with fossils from the Bajocian era mixed with red clay and laves. Heavy earth containing iron.
VINIFICATION / MATURING
Harvested by hand, sorted and destemed.
Alcoholic fermentation in open vats, for about 15 days with 2 punch-down a day at the beginning.
Maturation in oak barrels (10% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
Colour : Deep garnet red.
Nose : Black fruits aromas (blackcurrant, blueberry).
Mouth : Strong structure and powerfull tannins. After 10 to 15 years of ageing, it turns to crystallized fruits aromas with a long finish.
Game in a sauce, Burgundy cheese (Citeaux)
Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Classic is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne
This vintage claims to be “Classic” purely to set itself apart from the tendancy to promote wines whose aromas have their origin neither in the variety of grape nor in the locality...This Muscadet is developed and vinified to be appreciated young “on the fruit”. It is crystal clear and the color of yellow straw. Lime, grapefruit, white fruits, pear and apple, salty and citrus notes are generously present on the nose.
The mouth is rich, straight, providing a beautiful acid screen; lime and soft notes of the sea provide a good balance and a great freshness in this Muscadet, superb landmarks which stretch to the end....
GRAPE-VARIETY: Melon de Bourgogne. (Local name of the Muscadet grape)
SURFACE: 4.50 ha (11.12 acres).
AGE OF VINES: 30-35 years old.
CARACTERISTICS OT THE TERRITORY: Loire Valley vineyard
Orientation of the slopes is WEST and NORTH WEST.
Soil is Siliceous with a sub-soil of metamorphic rock.
PRODUCTION: 45 hl/ha
Soil ploughing and soil scraping. Canopy management.
PRUNING: Simple Guyot.
VINIFICATION AND REFINING:
Organicly farmed since 1975.
Biodynamic – Demeter certified since 1998
- 100 % hand-picked grapes
- Reception of the grape harvest by gravity.
- No use of pumps.
- Pneumatic pressing.
- No racking of the must.
- Fermentation 100 % natural yeast.
- Aged “on the lees” in underground vats
covered with glass tiles during 14 months.
This Muscadet would be a good accompaniment to a seafood platter, an oily fish, a white meat or would, of course, be the ideal companion to your aperitif.