Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. Although the winery was recently sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), I expect quality will remain high for years to come.
The composition of the Clos de Betz varies from year to year. The 2007 is 62% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. The fruit is 39% Red Mountain, 33% Horse Heaven Hills, and 28% Yakima Valley (Ciel du Cheval, Kiona vineyards, Alder Ridge, and Red Willow vineyards). The wine is dark purple, almost inky in color. Cherries, rhubarb, vanilla and a touch of oak on the nose. The palate is powerful and concentrated with flavors of dark fruits, espresso, licorice, cherries and mocha. The finish is long and leaves you wanting for more.
For a wine that is predominantly Merlot I fully expected it to be more approachable. As it turns out, the wine is still somewhat primary and will clearly benefit from more time in the cellar.
My rating: 91 points, with upside potential for a point or two in a few years.
The wine is readily available at retail in the Seattle area and through the winery’s mailing list.
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