2010 La Côte Patriarche, Syrah
A surprising sense of ripeness and depth belies the 2010 vintage of Syrah La Côte Patriarche; its expression doesn’t seem like that of a cooler vintage. There’s a concentration, richness and grip typical of a warmer growing season. We attribute this expression to the 25 year old vines we source it from at the Red Willow Vineyard (the oldest Syrah planted in Washington), where the vines show an element of stability and consistency; solid, even, perhaps more forgiving of vintage variation.
The litany of descriptors for the 2010 vintage all center on substance and density. Solid blackberry, plum, meat, smoke, rock, earth all apply. Even a bit of black licorice. In the background there’s a bramble note, and a little aromatic buoyancy from black raspberry aromas.
La Côte Patriarche is the most ageworthy of our three Syrahs. The fruit, tannin and grape chemistry all balance toward brooding when young, splendidly expressive with time in the cellar. Syrah has a serious capacity to develop “bottle bouquet” over the years, as the 2010 will reveal. In time even more of its smoked meat, black pepper and earthiness will emerge.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 100% Syrah
- Serve cool, 60-62°F
- Best from 2014 through 2022
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
Red Willow Vineyard
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 95
Good full red-ruby. Pungent aromas of black raspberry, flint and licorice, lifted by an exotic white fruit quality. Very dense and pliant but with a light touch to the flavors of dark berries, tar and smoke lifted by minerals, peach and orange peel. Extremely closed and youthful but balanced from the start. Very elegantly styled and impressively intense wine with exotic high notes that remind me of a top Cote-Rotie.
David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate, 93
Sourced from the 1986 block at Red Willow – to whose proprietor, Mike Sauer, its cuvee name alludes – the Betz 2010 Syrah La Cote Patriarche is pungently and tartly scented and flavored with purple plum, rhubarb, sage, horehound, and licorice. Tight and firm in feel, it, nevertheless, displays ample abundance of tart fresh fruit juiciness allied to a striking depth of charred, roasted red meat savor as well as tar and black pepper. The finishing effect is of sappy clinging yet at the same time invigoration and full-massage of the salivary glands; and the wine’s strong herbal elements all contribute positively to a glowing sense of persistence. “No variety reveals its terroir as much as Syrah” on his Red Mountain vineyard, notes Sauer, and this particular block certainly displays a recognizable and profoundly carnal personality. I would anticipate more than a decade’s excitement.