2014 Betz Family Winery, Bésoleil, Rhone Style Red Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington State.
Betz’s stunning Bésoleil Chateauneuf du Pape style Washington State red is absolutely regal in form and function with deep layers of red and black fruits, spice and texture. Impressively dense, but with bright intensity the Betz Bésoleil is a blend of Grenache 33%, Counoise 24%, Syrah 20%, 17% Cinsault and 6% of Mourvedre making for a complex wine with supple tannins and opulent ripeness. Sourced from great Yakima sites including mostly Olsen Vineyard, but also Upland, Boushey, and the famous Ceil du Cheval Vineyard, all which add to the quality found in this wine, this is exciting stuff that fills the palate and gives a fleshy mouth feel. Starting with a sweet fruit essences, spring flowers and a nice cut of spice and mineral lead to a rich and round palate of boysenberry, marionberry, kirsch, damson plum, anise and a kiss of chocolatey oak along with a hint of wild herb, pepper and subtle mineral, graphite and vanilla/espresso bean. Washington has long been a hot spot for Rhone varietals with wineries like Cayuse, Gramercy, Reynvaan and Betz all making heroic wines, Bob Betz a long time Rhone Ranger is also a MW, a Master of Wine, one of the very few winemakers that I know of, along with Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock, to have earned that MW, along with Louis Skinner, Betz’s winemaker, craft a great selection of wines, mostly from top sites and with focus on Syrah. Gentile winemaking, with gravity flow and the use of only French oak with rigorous sorting certainly shows in the wine and the quality shines through from start to finish, and this Chateauneuf style Bésoleil 2014 has a powerful impact, it’s hedonistic, but with a good burst of acidity that adds charm and balance, it really wants robust cuisine to show it’s best. Drink this Southern Rhone inspired beauty over the next 3 to 5 years.
($48 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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