2010 Betz "La Côte Rousse" Red Mountain Syrah

SKU #1269969 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red-ruby. Black raspberry, flowers, minerals and spices on the nose, plus a hint of black walnut that reminded me of Hermitage. Juicy on entry, then sinewy and penetrating in the middle, and clearly less pliant and sweet today than the La Serenne. The dark fruit and bitter chocolate flavors are supported by obvious Red Mountain structure. For all its power, the minerally, spicy, peppery finish displays very fine-grained tannins and lovely subtle persistence. Actually a bit higher in pH than the La Serenne but this is likely to need at least as much time in the cellar--say five or six years. 93+ (ST)  (11/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Once again, this cuvée blends grapes drawn equally from the Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road vineyards on Red Mountain. Imposing minerality underscores a tight, raspberry-flavored wine that seems like it's soaked in liquid rock. A teasing barrel note adds threads of coffee liqueur and dark chocolate to the finish. (PG)  (12/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Originating half each in Ranch at the End of the Road (source of this bottling’s first appearances in 1999 and 2000) and neighboring Ciel du Cheval (tapped since 2001) on Red Mountain, the Betz 2010 Syrah Le Cote Rousse features ripe but tart-edged dark cherry and plum accented by smoky, carnal, saline, mouthwateringly savory notes that (idiosyncratically, granted!) put me vividly in mind of pan scrapings from a roasting goose. This feels firmly tannic but that doesn’t keep it from displaying generous primary juiciness in a sustained finish. As with a number of wines tasted on this occasion, I’d be inclined to leave it in peace for a couple of years and then anticipate at least 6-8 years of bottle development. (DS)  (12/2012)

Wine Spectator

 Firm in texture, with refreshingly restrained red berry flavors playing against hints of lime flower and cream as the finish lingers. Best from 2014 through 2017. (HS)  (12/2013)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.