2010 La Serenne, Syrah
For over a decade we’ve worked with Dick Boushey to grow Syrah for La Serenne from the same rows of vines in his vineyard just north of Grandview. This relationship can’t be overstated in importance for achieving the results we want. As we’ve walked the vine rows during previous growing seasons, kicking dirt and tweaking leaves, we’ve developed an understanding of what each of us wants---growing the best grapes possible that create a wine of character, reflecting the vineyard and compelling the palate. Some of our communication is now unspoken, building on years of discussion of canopy architecture, ruthless fruit selection, irrigation regimes, cluster thinning, crop load, … Yes, we had to dance more in the challenging 2010 vintage, but we arrived at our destination together.
This 2010 vintage reflects its source with precision and clarity. That impenetrable black color of classic Boushey Syrah starts the journey down a very satisfying sensory pathway. Next comes the dominant aroma I always associate with Syrah from this site: smoky, candied blackberry, distinctive and seductive. That foundation gives way to notes of licorice (this is a cool site after all), iron, roasted earth and meat. Despite the cooler vintage conditions, there a full, rich, almost powerful overall impression: this is the velvet hammer, the gloved fist: plush, silky and yet jam packed with character. We clearly enjoy walking these rows together….
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 100% Syrah
- Serve cool, 60-62°F.
- Best from 2014 through 2020
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
- Boushey Vineyard
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 93
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.
David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate, 92
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.