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Betz Family Winery Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE96
  • RP93
  • WS92
14.6% ABV
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

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WE 96
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.
RP 93
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 92
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

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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

WBW30082284_2009 Item# 119446