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Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013

Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is made from 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot.


Aged for 20 months in 100% French, medium toast; 60% new, 40% one & two year old
The nose leads off with plum, bright blackberry, and dark bing cherries. A touch of dried blueberry rounds out the fruit profile. Floral notes and cocoa, with nuances of cedar and spice, are sprinkled throughout. All of these characters follow through on the palate and, with a pleasant minerality and continuity, weave a tapestry of complexity and youthful exuberance. 

 


Review:

(14.7% alcohol; mostly from Bacchus and Dionysos vineyards): Healthy dark red. Nicely ripe, nuanced aromas of black- and redcurrant, blueberry, licorice, fresh herbs and tobacco leaf. Deep, spicy, chewy Cabernet with lovely acidity giving shape and clarity to its flavors of blueberry, blackberry, cassis and bitter chocolate. Very nicely balanced, long wine with firm tannins that avoid dryness.


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90
Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2014

Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is made from 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot.


Aged for 20 months in 100% French, medium toast; 60% new, 40% one & two year old
The nose leads off with plum, bright blackberry, and dark bing cherries. A touch of dried blueberry rounds out the fruit profile. Floral notes and cocoa, with nuances of cedar and spice, are sprinkled throughout. All of these characters follow through on the palate and, with a pleasant minerality and continuity, weave a tapestry of complexity and youthful exuberance. 

 


Review:

"Bright, dark red. Ripe aromas of currant, black cherry, licorice, fresh herbs and dark chocolate, lifted by a floral element. Plush and seamless but laid-back, conveying a restrained sweetness to its creamy flavors of currant, mocha and licorice. This wine didn't display quite the sweetness, horizontality or length of the 2015 Merlot on first pour but it expanded beautifully with 48 hours in the recorked bottle without losing its spring. A very suave Cabernet with excellent aging potential. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Vinous (October 2017), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013

Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay

This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.

 


Review:

"Supple, ripe and complex, with layers of pear, floral, tangerine and a note reminiscent of freshly ironed clothing. Fine acidity carries this through to a refreshing finish. Drink now through 2020. 919 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th, 2015), 91 pts

"Abeja’s 2013 Chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple blossom, white flowers, citrus and brioche. Fermented and aged in barrel (40% new), it has a solid mix of richness and freshness, is beautifully balanced, and will drink nicely for 2-3 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"

- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, June 2015), 91 pts

"A blend of top sites Celilo and Conner Lee, this appealing wine displays aromas of candy corn, corn silk and chamomile. The stone-fruit flavors are elegantly styled, showing a sense of restraint and balance that carries through the lingering finish."

- Wine Enthusiast (September 1st 2015), 91 pts

 Wine Advocate: 91 Wine Enthusiast: 91 Wine Spectator: 91
Abeja Merlot Columbia Valley 2014

This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.

Review:

"The 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot (100% Merlot) is a ripe, black fruit, plum, leafy herbs and mineral-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, moderate mid-palate depth and tons of upfront charm. It's going to drink nicely through 2024."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 90 pts

"The aromas bring notes of dried herb, vanilla bean, wood spice and black cherry. The flavors are rich and luscious, supported by plump ripe tannins. The finish lingers."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2017), 91 pts

 Wine Advocate: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 91
Abeja Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2013

Complex and compelling, this estate-grown Syrah sends up smoky notes of cured meat, nougat and caramel. Black cherry fruit anchors the barrel notes, and it just gets more and more delicious as it winds its way across the palate. This demonstrates classy winemaking and perfect balance.

The fruit for this wine is grown at an elevation of 1310 feet on the grounds of the Winery. The higher elevation and the proximity to the Blue Mountains, gives this vineyard a longer, cooler ripening season than most other areas of the Walla Walla Appellation. The cooler site results in a style much like that of a classic Northern Rhone with complexity and balance without the concentration and higher alcohol levels of Syrah produced in warmer areas.

 


Review:

"Dark and smoky, with a lithe core of plum and spice emerging from under a layer of grippy tannins. The finish persists with insistence and intensity. Best after 2017. 182 cases made.- HS"
- Wine Spectator (October 15th 2015), 91 pts

"Aged in French oak, 30% new. Deep, saturated ruby. Wild, musky aromas of black raspberry, gunflint, spices and violet. Plush, tactile and sweet, offering surprising lift and definition to the flavors of dark raspberry, blackberry, smoked meat and violet face powder. Very expressive, fine-grained Syrah with subtle intensity and a lingering, ripely tannic finish. - Stephen Tanzer"- Vinous (November 2015), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Spectator: 91
Avennia Arnaut Syrah 2015

Avennia Arnaut Syrah is made of 100% Syrah

For our taste, no one grows finer Syrah in the state than Dick Boushey. We named this wine after the Provencal Troubadour Arnaut Daniel, who invented the Sestina poem form, thus creating a connection between our two flagship efforts.

Arnaut Tasting Note: a tribute to Syrah's feral heritage—black olive, earth, smoked minerals, and cured meat, along with a dollop of black fruits and lavender. The palate is super-concentrated with savory notes and ripe black fruits. The finish is long, complex, ruminating. Massive wine that remains light on its feet.

 


Review:

"A true blockbuster in the vintage is the 2015 Syrah Boushey Vineyard Arnaut. Coming from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in the Yakima Valley, it was completely destemmed (they put 15% of the stems back) and aged in primarily neutral barrels. It boasts an inky purple color to go with spectacular notes of black olives, scorched earth, peppery meats and black currants. With medium to full-bodied richness, gorgeous concentration and a big finish, it tastes like the essence of Syrah from Washington State. I love it! - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 94-97 pts

 

 Wine Advocate: 97
Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2014

Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon 41% Merlot 11% Cabernet Franc

Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.

Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.

 


Review:

he 2014 Gravura should be a killer value and it offers Graves-like notes of dark fruits, coffee, damp earth and mineral in a fresh, elegant, silky style. You can feel the tannin here, but they're approachable and ripe, and I suspect this should show nicely right out of the gate. - Wine Advocate 91-93 Points

 Wine Advocate: 93
Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2015

Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon 41% Merlot 11% Cabernet Franc

Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.

Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.

 


Review:

"A blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Gravura exhibits a classic bouquet of cassis, pencil shavings and rich soil, followed by a medium-bodied, velvety and layered palate, with a rich core of fruit that's attractively vibrant and already incipiently complex. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced and keenly priced Bordeaux blend that definitely impressed me. - William Kelley"
 - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 93 pts

 Wine Advocate: 93
Avennia Sestina Red Blend 2013

Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc

The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.

Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.


"Bright medium ruby. Aromas of black cherry, mocha and licorice pastille. Attractive, tactile and sweet, with notes of chocolate and mocha but less fruit concentration than the 2012. Finishes with serious ripe tannins and lovely length. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Vinous (November 2015), 92 pts

"The most structured and backward of Chris's 2013s, the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated 2013 Sestina offers lots of minerality and crushed rock nuances to go with notes of wood smoke, lead pencil shavings, spice and crisp black fruits. It has a great mid-palate and good texture, but patience will be required. Give it 5-6 years and it should impress over the following decade or more.."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #219, June 2015), 92-94+ pts

"More brains than brawn, the focus on this understated Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend is on old vines, with fruit coming mostly from early '70s and '80s Dionysus, Bacchus and Red Willow vineyard plantings. The earth, black cherry, peppercorn, currant and dried herb aromas start out tightly coiled. The flavors have laser-focused purity and a compelling sense of balance, with plenty of subtleties. It's all about nuance."

- Wine Enthusiast (July 2016), 93 pts

 

"Head winemaker, Chris Peterson, has crafted another stunner with this new 'Sestina' bottling. This wine is a blend of 73% Cabernet, 18% Merlot and 9% Cab Franc. The wine opens with gorgeous aromas of black cherry, black olive, blackberry preserves and dark chocolate. There is a real Bordelaise feel to this wine. The wine has flavors of crushed wild flowers, Turkish coffee, black olive, blackberry preserves, graphite, and an exceedingly long finish. There is a wonderful range of flavors and aromatics at play to this exceptional bottling. Try to wait at least another year before consuming. (Best 2017-2030).- OB"

- International Wine Report (October 2016), 94 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 Wine Advocate: 94 Wine Enthusiast: 93 94 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2013

 

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

A blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the 2013 Valery comes from 1986 plantings and sees moderate levels of new oak. Elegant, medium-bodied, supple and pretty, with perfumed notes of red plums, blackberry, spice-box and dried earth, it opens up nicely in the glass and has outstanding length. If it puts on weight in bottle, the score will be low.

Winemaker Chris Peterson calls 2012 an "Iconic vintage," adding that there were no heat spikes and that it's as good as, if not better than, 2007. I'm in complete agreement with him and loved these latest releases. Chris's wines always have firm, savory characters, yet back it up with serious mid-palate depth and concentration. These are all wines I can't wait to taste when they're at full maturity. Wine Advocate 90-92 Points

 Wine Advocate: 92
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2014

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

Tasted out of barrel and a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Valery offers lots of leafy herbs, tobacco leaf, black cherries and a touch of dark chocolate in an elegant, focused, fresh style. The estate's Right Bank-styled release, it too should drink nicely in its youth, yet also evolve for 10-15 years. - Wine Advocate 91-93 Points

 Wine Advocate: 93
Betz Family Besoleil 2014

Blending Detail:

  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise

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.


"Always an enjoyable, outstanding effort, the 2014 Grenache Besoleil offers classic notes of cherries, herbes de Provence, red plums and pepper in a fine, elegant, medium to full-bodied style. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 91 pts

Medium red. Sexy, high-toned red cherry and red berry aromas showcase the wine's Grenache component (but this vintage features the lowest percentage to date of this variety). Bright, ripe raspberry and cherry flavors are complicated by smoky and peppery nuances. A very graceful red blend with sweet tannins and excellent persistence.

-- Stephen Tanzer 91 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 91
Betz Family Besoleil 2015

Blending Detail:

  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise

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.

Review:

The first vintage where they’ve pushed the bottling back to give the cuvee 16-18 months in barrel, the 2015 Besoleil is a dead ringer for a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape and offers perfumed notes of herbes de Provence, kirsch, licorice and sweet spice. It’s medium to full-bodied, textured and fruit-forward, with a hedonistic yet elegant profile that’s going to evolve gracefully. 
Robert Parker 91-93 Points



 Wine Advocate: 93
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2013

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of this
Southern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.

"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

 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2014

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

Bright, dark red-ruby. Alluring floral lift to the aromas of blackberry, cassis, Bing cherry, sweet spices and anise. Sweet, plush wine with great sex appeal to its intense, pliant flavors of amarena cherry, flint and spicy oak. Really remarkable--and not at all stewed--for Merlot from a hot year; Betz noted that he picked these vines early, "with tension and vitality." Finishes very long and smooth, with suave, perfectly supported tannins dusting the front teeth. A great, velvety Merlot-based wine from Washington. Betz adds some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot to wine "to provide more structure, nuance and color."


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2015

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

"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

 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family La Cote Rousse Syrah 2014

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.

 


Review:

From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.

While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines. 96 Points Wine Advocate

 Wine Advocate: 96
Betz Family La Cote Rousse Syrah 2015

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.

Review:

The 2015 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a blockbuster Syrah from Red Mountain that’s from the Ranch at the End of The Road and Ciel du Cheval vineyards. It’s a mix of four different clones and is brought up in barrel. This deep, inky, seriously black Syrah gives up Hermitage-like notes of scorched earth, charred meats, graphite and licorice. It’s a big, concentrated effort that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep through 2035. Robert Parker 96 Points

 


 Wine Advocate: 96
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah 2014

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.


Review:

 "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

 Wine Advocate: 93
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah 2015

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.

Review:

All from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne was also all destemmed and brought up in barrel. It’s a more elegant, complex and nuanced Syrah compared to the Cote Rousse and offers classic notes of blackberries, peppery herbs, lavender and spring flowers. Full-bodied, fresh and lively, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. Robert Parker 94 Points


 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family Pere de Famille 2013

 Betz Family Pere de Famille 2012 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 % Merlot 4% Petit Verdot

This initial question raised by this vintage of Pere de Famille is how this wine, with such a depth of color, aromatic complexity and balance of the Old World. The answer isn’t precise, but is a reflection of a remarkable Columbia Valley vintage, plus small changes in maturation and the varietal concentration of the final blend. Its inky purple color, muscular structure and plush texture all point to its New World origins. But the aromas of pure, layered black fruits, graphite, crushed rock and lavender (think St. Julien?) lead me back to the Old World. The 2012 Père de Famille has the highest level (90%) of Cabernet Sauvignon that we’ve ever used in this wine. Add to that the high concentration of Red Mountain grapes (84%), deep and structured, and it yields a wine as generous as any Cabernet we’ve made. It showed such density in barrel that we added three months barrel aging to resolve the tannins and body. It’s weighty and yet balanced, fleshy yet fine grained, powerful yet polished. And unabashedly Cabernet Sauvignon, with its black currants, anise/thyme, savory mouth feel and dusty finish. Its dimension and precision indicate long aging ability, but you might be tempted far earlier.

Review:

"A cuvee that continues to become more and more Cabernet Sauvignon dominated (Bob Betz loves Cabernet and think it’s the top grape of Washington), the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot) is utterly seamless and elegant. It is full-bodied and open, with forward notes of cassis, crushed flowers, red currants and licorice. Where the 2014s are more exuberant and dense, this 2013 excels on its pretty, pure and overall elegant style. Drink it anytime over the coming 15+ years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts
 
"Dark ruby. Aromas and flavors of blackcurrant, minerals, violet and bitter chocolate. A wine of outstanding finesse, showing great cut and lift but also a wonderfully supple texture. (Bob Betz feels that the effect of the Pulsair treatment is clear in this wine's dimension and weight on the palate.) Finishes with utterly refined, nearly invisible tannins But this wine is still quite backward and will need serious cellaring to fully express itself. - Stephen Tanzer"

- Vinous (November 2015), 93+ pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 Wine Advocate: 94

 
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Ilaria Accordini Ripasso Valpolicella 2016

Ilaria Accordini Ripasso  is made from 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 20% Corvinoni

Intense red color with garnet hints. Almond and fresh walnut aromas. Full-bodied with a good structure.
This is an excellent red wine with a supple body. The techniques used to produce this wine is typical from the area.

Late harvest style Corvina aged on Amarone lees. The must of Amarone remains in the vat and instead of being pressed, it is topped up with high quality Valpolicella before being left to referment for about 10-15 days.
Pairs well with roasted meats.