Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
Washington Merlot shines in a vintage like 2008; the cooler, more moderate temperatures favor the development of sweet black cherry, plum and its signature chocolate/coffee note. One will likelt be struck by the dimension and suppleness of the mouthfeel.
This is what St. Emilion and Pomerol aspire to: rich black fruit, a knockout entry, plump mid-palate and long elegant finish. Along the way, mineral, spice, wet stones, licorice and dried herbs mingle to create a complex, and satisfying, flavor range. Fleshy, ripe fruits linger but the wine still dances with vitality; the higher percentage of Merlot, mostly from the Red Mountain vineyards, had plenty to do with the stunning impression the 2008 vintage.
Blend: 68% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot
The Wine Advocate - "The Bordeaux-styled wines begin with the 2008 Clos de Betz, a multi-regional blend from four renowned vineyards, and composed of 66% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Petit Verdot. It was aged for 16 months in 65% new French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it surrenders an expressive nose of pain grille, graphite, Asian spices, a hint of balsamic, black currant, and blackberry. On the palate it admirably combines elegance with power. It has superb concentration, incipient complexity, layers of fruit, and a lengthy finish. Give it 6-8 years of additional cellaring and then drink it through its 25th birthday. "
Wine Enthusiast - "Tight and precise, with sharply defined edges, this needs hours of breathing time. Dense black fruit, pretty herbal grace notes, supple, slightly grainy tannins. Built for the long term."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, full ruby-red. Dark berries, licorice, bitter chocolate and graphite on the nose and palate. Densely packed but showing superb energy and lift to the flavors of dark berries, cocoa powder and violet. There's nothing rustic about these classy wines. Finishes with terrific clarity and lively minerality."
Wine Spectator - "Firm in texture, with a sense of elegance to the berry and plum flavors, accented by licorice and pepper as the finish lingers effortlessly. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot."
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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.