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Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz 2013

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • WE91
  • W&S90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

In the glass, the 2013 Clos de Betz displays a deep ruby hue, but the real excitement begins with the aromatics: black cherry, damson plum, and cocoa bean lead the charge, while leather, tobacco, sage, and truffle all show up with time in the glass. The palate offers merlot’s weight and density, yet faithfully expresses the freshness and detail of the vintage. This is further enhanced by the highest percentage ever of Petit Verdot in this blend: dried thyme and pencil lead nuances add stunning complexity. This vintage of Clos de Betz reminds me of a classic, warmer, Right Bank wine, with both readiness and structure, and notable cellaring capacity.
Blend: 63% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Firm in texture, featuring peppery overtones to the black cherry and raspberry fruit. Medium-weight, with the flavors gliding against the nubby finish and lingering well. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Best from 2017 through 2022.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is a blend of Merlot (63%), a whopping 22% Petit Verdot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of smoke, cedar, dried herbs, licorice, pencil lead, crushed flowers and red and black berries are followed by soft, plump fruit flavors. It brings an undeniable warm vintage appeal but with a compelling sense of elegance and balance.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
There’s an old-school feel to the oak treatment and structure in this cabernet-heavy blend. The wine’s oak imprint slips between cedar, caramel and espresso tones above its dark fruit-skin flavors. Cellar this to let the fruit catch up to the structure. (1,027 cases)
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Betz Family Winery

Betz Family Winery

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Betz Family Winery , 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.

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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.

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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.

BET207519_2013 Item# 207519