Betz Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
This vintage of Pere de Famille is consistent with the past several years, heavy on Cabernet character, with Petit Verdot playing a key supporting role and a bit of Merlot adding fleshiness. There's a notable development, however: an increase in the Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1973 block at Red Willow Vineyard. Among the oldest plantings in the state, this vineyard's contribution brought additional richness and complexity to the blend, without added astringency.
The 2009 is full blown, with a powerful aroma of black currants, plum and blackberry. Completing the aroma are scents of violet, smoke, rock and vanilla bean. Classic Cabernet structure is reflected in its firm grip of tannin, but there's enough fruit density to make it lush and pliant. This is another vintage where it's easy to use the word "complete" to describe the overall character of this Cabernet.
Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot
Wine Enthusiast - "A portion of the Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from vines planted in 1973, with additions of 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. It’s an exceptionally fine-tuned blend, with pinpoint fruit flavors, sappy acids and complementary barrel notes. The classic structure, which is the hallmark of all Betz wines, suggests a long life ahead. Cellar Selection."
The Wine Advocate - "More sweetly ripe and expansive if less energetic and slightly grainier than its 2010 counterpart, the Betz 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille incorporates what, for this blend, is a very typical 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. A pungent bite of juniper berry offers some counterpoint to creme de cassis and mocha on a darkly rich mid-palate, leading to a long, sappy finish. Tannin is never far from the surface here even though that surface is almost thickly mouth-coating. Where the 2010 had me reaching for musical metaphors to express its dynamic personality, the analogy here is to the plastic arts, and the wine seems to have monumental potential. It will be interesting, though, to see whether further complexity and flavor definition emerge with time in bottle and the tannin smoothly integrates."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby red. Cassis, crushed blackberry and violet on the nose. Intensely flavored and juicy, with terrific cut and lift to the flavors of blackberry and licorice. Boasts plenty of acidity but there's nothing hard about this cabernet. Finishes quite tight, though, with firm, peppery tannins that call for at least six or seven years of bottling aging."
Wine Spectator - "This densely packed red is focused and distinctive for its tarry roasted meat overtones around a core of black cherry and berry flavors, pushing against the tempered tannins on the long, vivid finish. Drink now through 2016."
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Betz Family Winery
Since its first vintange in 1997, Betz Family Winery has had a single-minded goal of crafting compelling wines with individual character that are approachable and age-worthy, and wich showcase Washington as a distinguished wine region of the world. By carving out specific vineyard blocks and being meticulous in the vineyard and cellar they are able to achieve the quality they aspire to, the result being highly-acclaimed wines that compete on the world stage. Today, Betz Family Winery is headed by two families, committed to be true to their heritage, their family members and true to what Betz embodies: wines of dimension and pleasure that allow the character of Washington to shine through. View all Betz Family Winery Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.