2010 Betz "La Serenne" Columbia Valley Syrah
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(from Boushey Vineyard fruit): Bright nose features musky black raspberry, smoke, minerals, chocolate and a whiff of tar. Bright, delineated and intense, conveying terrific acidity for syrah. Proprietor Betz describes 2010 as "a return to structure in syrah" and this wine is also extremely primary, with tarry minerality and a cracked pepper quality adding nuance. Finishes with firm but suave tannins, excellent grip and terrific peppery lift. In texture, this wine is midway between Cote-Rotie and Saint-Joseph, and wonderfully fresh. (ST)
*HIGHLY RECOMMENDED* Vibrant, expressive and deftly balanced, this plays its juicy currant, plum and lavender flavors against refined tannins and lively acidity, firming up smoothly on the long finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Originating in Boushey Vineyard, Betz’s 2010 Syrah La Serenne is scented with cassis and blackberry, sage and fennel. As it takes on air, a delightfully bitter-sweet, iris-like floral dimension emerges. Palpably dense and finely tannic, it displays a sense of constriction and firmness, although its dark berry flavors are very ripe and its herbal aspect expressively pungent. Saliva-inducing salinity, an invigorating bite of black pepper, and a note of tar complement tart-edged, juicy fruit and herbs in a finish more exuberantly energetic, expansive and engaging than this wine’s mid-palate presence had led me to anticipate. This should be a delight to follow over the next 6-8 years and I would advise simply leaving it untouched for the first couple as it works through a relatively reduced (and, metaphorically-speaking, tightly-wound) condition. (DS)