Origin: United States
- Columbia Valley
After the cooler vintages of 2010 and 2011, Washington is back to the more typical trend of warmth in 2012 and the even warmer 2013. After a relatively mild winter, bud break, flowering and fruit set took place anywhere from one week to four weeks early, and in very good conditions. The result was potentially a large crop, but conscientious growers and winemakers thinned out all but the best clusters.
2013 had a much higher temperature range than the previous three years and demanded attention to the vine and crop health. The heat stayed constant through the summer months, with just a little cooling over a couple days in July. As September arrived, and we began to harvest grapes, a cooling trend slowed things down in the second week of September. Many wineries stopped picking temporarily, or pushed out their harvest dates.
Some winemakers refer to 2013 as the tale of two harvests, referring to the period before and after the cooling trend. In 2013, the combination of above average heat, and cool nighttime temperatures during harvest influenced the character of the finished wines. The result? Rich textures, deeply developed flavors and a harmonious freshness from the natural acidity we value so much.
Of all the varieties that most love the warmest summer heat, the Southern Rhone grapes win the prize. Grenache, Cinsault, Counoise, and Mourvedre find the perfect home in the wind swept Southern Rhone Valley, and have transplanted to Eastern Washington weather quite well.. Bésoleil has always been Grenache dominant and it speaks loudly in the 2013 vintage with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf.
Fractions of Counoise and Cinsault bring bing cherry and blueberry notes to the aromatics, complexed by black pepper and garrique (Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue clear to the edge of the glass. Syrah rounds things our adding texture, and flesh to the palate. Charming in its youth, but the surprise will be yours 6 or 7 years from now when you re-discover that last bottle of Bésoleil you tucked away in the cellar, and are rewarded with its complexity and holding power.
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