Betz Family Winery La Côte Rousse Syrah 2015, Red Mountain, Washington

2009 vintage – “This year’s blend of Syrah La Côte Rousse is nearly equal portions of our two Red Mountain Syrah vineyard sources, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road. Once again the synergy between these two sites and the four clones creates a blend of power, complexity and completeness. The mid-season heat was a factor with these Red Mountain vineyards, as the berries can easily sunburn or become “heat affected” so that they never quite ripen right. We shade the clusters with the leaf canopy, especially on the western-facing side, to avoid these problems. It worked well, yielding small berries that actually needed very little hand-sorting. The result is a wine that’s the runner-up for blackest of the Syrahs (see La Côte Patriarche below!), with super density, yet an approachability that’s uncommon for this blend. Very sweet in the nose, with big black cherries, smoke, floral spice and an earthy/truffle note. This is Red Mountain at its best, with dimension yet elegance, packed black fruits, yet a creamy, plush impression.” – from the winery. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 50% new, 50% one fill.