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Betz Family La Serenne Syrah
Betz Family Winery
United States - Washington - Yakima Valley

Boushey Vineyard, which has been the source of La Serenne since 2000, is one of the stars of the mid-Yakima Valley. Farmed by Dick Boushey, a proponent of Washington Syrah since the 1980's, this site has gained notoriety for its unique varietal expression and supple texture. The word Serenne is an affectionate name for Syrah in the local dialect of Ampuis, a town in the heart France's northern Rhône valley. We find this to be a fitting name for our Syrah from Boushey, as it reminds us of the wild (or as the French say "Sauvage"), Rhône-esque character of the wine.

The fruit reflects the sum total of conditions here: location in the mid-Yakima Valley, higher elevation, cooler climate, soils undisturbed by the Missoula Floods and Dick's exemplary farming practices. Harvest is typically 2-3 weeks later than our Syrah vines planted elsewhere, indicating the uniqueness of its position.

Specifications
Appellation
Yakima Valley
Varietal(s)
100% Syrah
Vinification
12 months in French oak, 50% new/50% used

Reviews and News

2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 96 PTS - JD

2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 96 PTS - JD

jeb dunnuck logo 250"Coming all from Boushey Vineyard, the 2016 Syrah La Serenne saw plenty of whole clusters as well as 11 months in French oak, 40% new. It’s deep inky colored with a smoking bouquet of blueberries, spring flowers, gunpowder like minerality, and liquid violets. With classic gamey Syrah character, plenty of pepper, medium to full-bodied richness, and a heavenly, silky texture, this might just be the finest vintage of this cuvée to date."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts

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2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 95 PTS - WA

2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 95 PTS - WA

wa95"The 2016 Syrah la Serenne hails from two acres within the Boushey Vineyard and was fermented with between 66% and 100% whole clusters. The wine is already very complex, wafting from the glass with notes of grilled meat, dried lavender, pepper and candied peel. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and lavish, with a layered mid-palate, fine-grained structuring tannins, sappy acids and a sapid, saline finish. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 95 pts

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2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 95 PTS - JS

2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 95 PTS - JS

james suckling hq logo plain"Dark, brooding and modern, this has pepper, cherry liqueur and chocolate plus exotic spicy flavors that extend through to the palate. Assertive, forthright finish. Needs three to four years to open."
- James Suckling (May 2018), 95 pts

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2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 91 PTS - WS

2016 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 91 PTS - WS

wine spectator 91 pts"Refined and delicately expressive, with blueberry and smoked spice flavors that linger elegantly toward sleek tannins. Drink now through 2023. 300 cases made. –TF"
- Wine Spectator (July 2018), 91 pts

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2015 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 96 PTS - TOP 100 - JS

2015 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 96 PTS - TOP 100 - JS

james suckling hq logo plain"This has terrific plum and boysenberry aromas with attractive wet earth and deep plums, violets, hard brown spices and dark stones. The palate has bright yet precise dark-plum and blackberry fruits, spiced dark chocolate, stony elements and a long, succulent finish. Brilliant wine in a very early stage of its life. Drink 2020 through a decade or more."
- James Suckling (December 2018), 96 pts - #88 - TOP 100 AMERICAN WINES OF 2018

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2014 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WA

2014 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WA

wa93"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

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2013 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 94 PTS - WA

2013 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 94 PTS - WA

wa94"The estate's Yakima Valley Syrah, the 2013 Syrah La Serenne spent 11 months in barrel before being bottled last November. Schedule to be released this fall, it has intense, yet fresh and lively notes of violets, spring flowers, cracked pepper, iron and sweet black and blue fruits. Full-bodied, pretty, lively and nicely focused, give it a year or two and enjoy bottles through 2028."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #219, June 2015), 94 pts

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2013 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 92+ PTS - VINOUS

2013 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 92+ PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo 250"Bright medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, garrigue and violet, plus a faint gamey quality; conveys an impression of restrained wildness. Densely packed and thick but still a bit reduced, with flavors of purple fruits, licorice, bitter chocolate, mocha and game complicated by a note of Brazil nuts. Quite backward on the finish and in need of at least a couple years of patience. Like La Cote Patriarche, this wine is entirely from Phelps clones. But these shy-bearing vines were picked much later than the other two Syrahs here as they're planted in a cooler site. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Vinous (November 2015), 92+ pts

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2013 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 92 PTS - WE

2013 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 92 PTS - WE

wine enthusiast 92 pts"The aromas of dark fruit, mineral, smoked meat, coffee and spice are brooding, not yet fully revealing their charms. Elegant yet penetrating, the fruit and savory flavors coat the palate from end to end with supple-feeling fruit flavors and a lengthy finish."
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2016), 92 pts

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2012 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne - 96 PTS - WA

2012 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne - 96 PTS - WA

wa96"As for the Syrah-driven wines, they do two main cuvees, one focusing on Boushey Vineyard, the La Serenne, and the other on Red Mountain, the La Cote Rousse. The 2012 Syrah La Serenne is a 100% Syrah that was aged in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. I think the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, it boasts an incredibly inky purple color to go with notions of creme de cassis, damp earth, graphite, smoke and licorice that flow to a full-bodied, voluptuously textured profile on the palate. Despite all of the richness, it stays thrillingly focused and shows the purity and elegance of the site. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, (Issue 213, June 2014), 95 pts

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2012 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WS

2012 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WS

Wine Spectator 93 Pts"Dense and spicy, the tannins part to make way for a rush of blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit, nicely tweaked with licorice and toast accents. Drink now through 2022.-H.S"

Wine Spectator's Insider (July 8th 2015), 93 pts

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2011 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WA

2011 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WA

Wine Advocate 93 Pts".. perfectly balanced, elegant and incredibly fresh, the 2011 Syrah La Serenne is 100% Syrah and comes from the cooler-climate Boushey Vineyard in Yakima Valley. Showing a lively, Cote-Rotie-like perfume of blackberry, pepper, thyme, flowers and clean minerality, it is medium-bodied, beautifully pure and has a seamless texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. While already approachable, it possesses enough ripe tannin and depth for 8-10 years of prime drinking. Drink now-2024.- JD"

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2013), 91-93 pts

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2011 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - IWC

2011 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - IWC

Tanzer International Wine Cellar 93 Pts"(100% Boushey fruit planted to the Phelps clone in a higher-altitude site; aged in 45% new oak): Lucid red-ruby color. Aromatic scents of boysenberry and graphite. Lovely spicy, peppery lift and energy to the brooding, primary dark berry flavors. Intense and impeccably balanced wine with a light touch and lovely lingering perfume. This is a moderate 13.8% alcohol, with a relatively low pH (for this wine) of 3.62 and 6.1 grams per liter acidity. Owing to its serious inner-mouth tension, I'd wait a couple years before pulling the cork on this beauty. Incidentally, winemaker Betz cut the percentage of new oak aging from 65% to 45%, and noted that his crop level in 2011 was a good 15% lower than the previous year, partly due to the damaging frost in November of 2010."

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Nov/Dec 2013), 93+

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2010 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 94 PTS - IWC

2010 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 94 PTS - IWC

Tanzer International Wine Cellar 94 Pts"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"

Steven Tanzer

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2010 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WS

2010 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 93 PTS - WS

Wine Spectator 93 Pts"Vibrant, expressive and deftly balanced, this plays the juicy currant, plum and lavender flavors against refined tannins and lively acidity, firming up smoothly on the long finish. Drink now through 2018. 535 cases made.-H.S"

Wine Spectator (October 31th 2013), 93 pts

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2010 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 92 PTS - WA

2010 Betz Family La Serenne Syrah - 92 PTS - WA

Wine Advocate 92 Pts"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."

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate (Issue #205), 92 pts

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Producer Information: Betz Family Winery

Bob and Cathy Betz crushed their first vintage of Betz Family Wine in 1997 with the help of volunteer friends, producing 150 cases of wine in the warehouse district of ...
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