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2014 NOW FINISHED: BESOLEIL, Betz Family. Columbia Valley, Washington State

Bin:  675

Alcohol percentage:  14.5%


Washington State in the far north west is a strange and unique wine region, all the vineyards in the semi-desert conditions of the Columbia Valley basin, east of the Cascade Mountains.
Cool nights, poor soils and careful irrigation can make some refined wines, in the right hands. At the mid range they are often great value; at the top end only sophisticated producers (like Bob Betz) know how to make fine and elegant wine – as opposed to blockbusters that win prizes in the US but which don’t pass any tests over here. Bob Betz on his website:
“While the Grenache in the earliest vintages of Bésoleil was sourced from various vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley, two sites in particular (Olsen Vineyards in the Yakima Valley and Upland Vineyards on Snipes Mountain) have excelled as uniquely distinctive for Grenache. These two sites are the sources for the entirety of the Grenache in Bésoleil today.
Grenache is the star of Bésoleil, but it’s not the whole story. Additional southern Rhône varieties have found their way into the blend and today the wine includes Counoise, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Our cellar treatment has also evolved in several ways in order to promote additional nuance from these southern Rhône gems. Larger, neutral oak cooperage of 300 and 500 liters provides less surface-to-volume ratio, resulting in slower evolution and less oak influence in the final wine. Aging up to two-thirds of the blend in concrete vessels helps maintain a bright, fresh fruit character.”


Bob Betz was Washington’s second ever Master of Wine and is their guru for all matters of quality and reputation. He makes a range of very fine wines, although local demand is such that prices are undeniably high.

Old Bridge rating:

Just reaching maturity. Graceful and elegant – seriously high quality.


£45.60 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£43.20 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles

Out of stock