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Besoleil is our Spanish/French whimsy for "kissed by the sun"?. It alludes to the warm, sunny days in the south of France that impart an intensity of character to the Grenache grape and its southern RhÃ´ne relatives. Imagine the windswept vineyards of ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape, the inspiration for this wine, where Grenache thrives alongside a dozen or more other grape varieties.
The story of Besoleil begins with our long-held belief that a precise marriage of soil and site can produce a profound expression of Grenache in Washington. We put that belief to the test with Besoleil's first vintage in 2003. While the Grenache in the earliest vintages of Besoleil 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 Besoleil today.
Grenache is the star of Besoleil, but it's not the whole story. Additional southern RhÃ´ne varieties have found their way into the blend and today the wine includes Counoise, Cinsault, Syrah and MourvÃ¨dre. Our cellar treatment has also evolved in several ways in order to promote additional nuance from these southern RhÃ´ne 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.
"A blend of 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and 11% Cinsault, the 2016 Bésoleil represents the Betz Family Winery's homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Offering up attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 94 pts
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401 N Great Neck Rd STE 118
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
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