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Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP95
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  • W&S91
14.5% ABV
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  • W&S90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Merlot's dominance in the blend takes center stage on the mid-palate, with a deep, textural fullness. It's the weight of this wine which impresses most, with a depth and breadth that envelop the palate and linger for a long finish. Vibrant black and red fruits abound, while Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot that complete the blend add anise, bay leaf and underbrush to the palate. Because of the vintage the wine shows attractive up-front development, but don't be too hasty: a long cellar life awaits.

Blend: 67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Inky-purple in color (has anyone seen a Betz wine not inky purple?), if offers impressive cassis, plum liqueur, spring flowers and underbrush-style aromas and flavors to go with a mouth-filling, layered and voluptuous style on the palate. I love the mid-palate here, and the tannin builds through the finish, so, while it should have plenty of up-front appeal, it should also evolve for 15+ years. Barrel Sample: 93-95
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Just over two-thirds Merlot with the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and a pinch of Petit Verdot, this thoroughly delicious wine opens with a complex assortment of aromas, including incense, toast, crushed flowers, spice, bay leaf, licorice and red and black fruit. The palate is deft but brings waves of layered fruit flavors that show great density and richness. It’s hedonistic but doesn’t sacrifice one iota of balance. It drinks best at 62 degrees.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Coffee, sassafras and tobacco notes add depth to the soft-textured cherry and licorice flavors in this supple, expressive style. Finishes with gentle intensity. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
A blend of merlot, cabernet and petit verdot, this wine’s dark core of inky blue fruit reveals a waft of turf-scents lurking in the background. The cassis and cherry flavors are caramelly and highly structured by their time in barrel, having been lavished with 65 percent new oak.
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Betz Family Winery

Betz Family Winery

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Betz Family Winery , Columbia Valley, Washington
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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.

As importantly over the years our winery culture has become a way of life in which everyone – our growers, winery team and customers are family.

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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

FBR114223_2012 Item# 145995