TN: 2016 Betz Family Syrah Domaine de Pierres

  • 2016 Betz Family Syrah Domaine de Pierres - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (2/7/2022)
    Interesting wine that really needed some air to blossom. When I first tasted it there was a bitter edge on the palate. I almost put it aside for something else. After an hour open it had opened up, and the bitterness faded to a background note, and the deep black fruit took center stage. The tannins clamped down fairly hard on the finish, so I would prefer to cellar quite a while longer, but I am concerned about that bitterness returning to center stage. Not quite sure what to make of this in light of other Betz Rhône grape bottlings that have also struck me as bitter. Is it something to do with the oak treatment?

Posted from CellarTracker

Except for their Besoleil, I don’t even think about opening any of my Betz Bdx or Rhones until at least 10 years after release. And, even at that point, they are often still too young. But, in general, they have been great with enough age…


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I’ve had the same experience with Betz. Great advice above- I also wait a minimum of 10 years from vintage date to open. Its hard to have the patience, but if you can give your next bottle more time you should be very happy! Cheers!

While I mostly agree with the 10 year hold on Betz syrah, where I would beg to differ is with the La Serenne which comes from a cooler vineyard in Yakima valley, Boushey. I think those wines tend to show best in the 5-7 year range for the primary fruit and gamey aromatics. Cote Rousse (Red Mountain = tough tannins) definitely can improve with 10 years as does typically anything from the WW rocks (de Pierres). The Cote Patriarche (Red Willow vineyard) can be drunk just about any time but can also improve with age. Cheers.

Thanks folks.

I have a 3-pack (2 Syrahs, 1 Cab) from the 2010 vintage that I am going to open later this fall. Looking forward to that! Cheers!

And that’s one of my favorite vintages, should be terrific!