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Posts tagged ‘Betz Family Winery’

2002 Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille – Bottle Notes

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel over five years ago. Louis Skinner, a longtime assistant of Bob’s, is now the full time Winemaker.

Violet in color. 14.4% ABV. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Malbec. Powerful nose of black fruits, smoke and graphite. Medium to full bodied with medium acidity. Big and plush with resolved tannins. Blackberry, black cherry and currants on the palate. The finish is long and silky. For me the wines from Betz age ever so slowly. At 15 years of age this one is finally ready to go. Best over the next several years.

My rating: 92 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wines from Betz are readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2015 Pere de Famille will be released to the mailing list and retail next Spring. I’ll be a buyer.

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2010 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne – Bottle Notes

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel five years ago. Louis Skinner, a longtime assistant of Bob’s, is now the full time Winemaker.

La Serenne is 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyard.

Blood red in color. 14.4% ABV. Expressive nose of black fruits, iodine and grilled meats. Dense and concentrated with perfect acidity. Savory and plush. Almost a ringer for a Northern Rhone. Black raspberry, saline and black pepper on the palate. The finish is long and silky with resolved tannins. Delicious Syrah that will drink well for the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 91 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wines from Betz are readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2015 La Serenne will be released to the mailing list this Fall and should be available at retail. I’m a buyer.

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Pick My Next Bottle – 2005 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon

The March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Washington Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2005 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Sunday and a Bottle Note will be published later that week.

I chose Washington Cabernet Sauvignon as March is Taste Washington Wine Month. Taste Washington Wine Month is an annual celebration of Washington State’s award winning industry. The culmination of Taste Washington Wine Month is Taste Washington, a massive tasting of food and wine held at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.

2005 was a very good vintage in Washington. The hot Summer was followed by cool weather in September and although the crop was smaller than normal, the wines have aged beautifully.

The Contenders:

  • 2005 Betz Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon – 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec. Good deep, bright ruby-red. Sappy aromas of crushed blackberry, licorice, minerals, and spices. Wonderfully sweet but less pliant and open today than the Clos de Betz; more affected by the bottling. With aeration, this showed subtle cabernet notes of cassis, Belgian chocolate and fresh herbs. This dense, thick wine boasts outstanding structure and dimension, and finishes with terrific persistence. Betz used his highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon to date in this wine, and the lowest amount of Merlot. 93 points from Stephen Tanzer.
  • 2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard – The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard comes from the fifth leaf of this estate vineyard and in this vintage contains 4.5% Merlot. The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple-colored, its distinctive aromatics leap from the glass. Toasty oak, scorched earth, a hint of truffle, black cherry, black raspberry, and blackberry liqueur aromas are quite mesmerizing. On the palate, this sizable effort is firm, full-bodied, and structured, demanding 6-8 years of cellaring. It should be hitting its stride by 2015 and remain at that level through 2035. 97 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2005 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley –  The Cabernet is sharply defined, with interesting citrus flavors defining the borders of the fruit. Lemon peel, candied pineapple and even grapefruit add lovely grace notes indicative of rich, clean, natural acids and a wine with plenty of glycerin. The stunning red fruits are polished and backed with details such as dried herb, and a tiny hint of mint. This may well be the most ageworthy Leonetti Cabernet ever made. 96 points from the Wine Enthusiast.

Which 2005 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon should I open?

  • 2005 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley (39%, 20 Votes)
  • 2005 Betz Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon (37%, 19 Votes)
  • 2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard (24%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 51

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the April installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2014 Betz Family Bésoleil – Bottle Notes

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel five years ago. Louis Skinner, a longtime assistant of Bob’s, is now the full time Winemaker.

Bésoleil is the Southern Rhone inspired red blend from Betz Family.

Bright crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. 33% Grenache, 24% Counoise, 20% Syrah, 17% Cinsault and 6% Mourvedre. Savory nose or black fruits, road tar, olive brine and grilled meats. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Young and still coming together. Cherries, kirsch, plums and white pepper on the palate. Substantial tannins on a long finish. Lots of potential but some time in the cellar is warranted. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 91 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wines from Betz are readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2015 Besoleil will be released to the mailing list this Fall and should be available at retail. I’m a buyer.

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Betz Family Winery End of Summer 2015 Release Party

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel four years ago. Bob Betz is still the Winemaker and from what I hear Louis Skinner is setting the bar high as the Assistant Winemaker.

Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Winter welcomes Bordeaux Blends, and Summer the Syrah-based wines. Located south of the Schoolhouse District in Woodinville, Betz release parties draw such large crowds that Woodinville Fire and King County Sheriff employees are hired to direct traffic.

Once again Betz Family managed to release their wines on what turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous late Summer weekend in Woodinville.

Here are my initial, albeit brief, impressions on the new releases:

  • 2013 Bésoleil – A Southern Rhone blend with a shade under 50% Grenache. Red fruits and crushed herbs on the nose. Flavors of raspberry, kirsch and pepper. I know these wines are decanted but this wine was extremely tight. This was the hardest wine to evaluate of the new releases and I reserve the right to change my score at some point. My rating: 91 points.
  • 2013 La Serenne – 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyard. Great nose of dark fruits, flowers and game. Rich and lush. Blackberries, grilled meat and olives on the palate. My rating: 93 points.
  • 2013 La Côte Rousse – 100% Syrah from Red MountainAt first glance you can’t help but notice how dark and inky the wine is. Soaring nose of black fruits, barbecued meats and white pepper. Absolutely great mouth feel. Blackberries, blueberries and game on the palate. Stunning bottle that should age gloriously. My rating: 95 points.
  • 2013 La Côte Patriarche – 100% Syrah from Red Willow Vineyard. Opaque purple in color. Super nose of black fruits, lavender and wet pavement. Blackberries, black cherries and smoke on the palate. My rating: 95 points.

Although my scores for La Côte Rousse and La Côte Patriarche both come in at 95 points my style preference better aligns with the La Côte Rousse and as such that was my wine of the day. This reverses last year’s release when the La Côte Patriarche stole the show.

I’ve been buying the Betz Syrahs for a decade now and the wines are better than ever.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle. I would not wait long though if you want to secure a few of these new releases.

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Betz Family Winery Spring 2015 Release Party

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel four years ago. Bob Betz is still the Winemaker and from what I hear Louis Skinner is setting the bar high as the Assistant Winemaker. 

Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Winter welcomes Bordeaux Blends, and Fall the Syrah-based wines. Located south of the Schoolhouse District in Woodinville, Betz release parties draw such large crowds that Woodinville Fire and King County Sheriff employees are hired to direct traffic.

We attended the winter release party this past Sunday. Per usual Steve made himself available all afternoon to mingle with visitors. 

Here are my initial impressions on the new releases:

  • 2012 Betz Family Clos de Betz – 67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. Opaque purple in color. Not showing much on the nose today. Cherries, plums, tobacco and cassis on the palate. Substantial tannins on a long finish. This will drink well for at least a decade. My rating: 91 points.
  • 2012 Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille – 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Pitch black in color. Cherry, anise, flowers, leather and pencil. Great structure and concentration. Dusty, gritty tannins. This wine has a long life ahead of it. My rating: 95 points.

For the second year in a row the Père de Famille stole the show. My wife and I had the opportunity to catch up with Steve for 10 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Betz might bottle a Syrah from the newly established Rocks District. Steve’s passion is contagious. Rest assured the winery is in good hands.

I’ve been buying the Betz wines for a decade now. I can’t emphasize enough that the entire lineup needs extended time in the cellar.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. Both of these new releases are worth searching for. 

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2009 Betz Family Winery La Serenne – Bottle Notes

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will remain high for years to come.

La Serenne is 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyard.

Opaque purple in color. 14.9% ABV. Dark fruits, meat, coffee and minerals on a powerful nose. Rich and inky on the palate. Flavors of blueberries, blackberries, espresso, iodine and pepper. Big tannins on an exceptionally long finish. Tons of potential. The wine needs a healthy decant or a few more years in the cellar.

My rating: 92 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2012 was released last Fall at a cost of $55. Put this wine on your shopping list.

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Betz Family Winery Fall 2014 Release Party

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will remain high for years to come.

Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Spring welcomes Bordeaux Blends, and Fall the Syrah-based wines. Located south of the Schoolhouse District in Woodinville, Betz release parties draw such large crowds that Woodinville Fire and King County Sheriff employees are hired to direct traffic.

I attended the Fall release party this past Sunday, a scorching hot late Summer afternoon. Despite the weather, and this being the opening day of the NFL season, the winery was simply packed. Bob and Steve made themselves available all afternoon to mingle with visitors.

Here are my initial impressions on the new releases:

  • 2012 Betz Family Bésoleil – 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 12% Counoise, 15% Mouvedre and 15% Syrah. Great floral and garrigue aromas with strawberries and kirsch on the palate. Young, primary, tight and brooding. The components are all there but this wine needs a few years in the cellar. My rating: 92 points.
  • 2012 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne – 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyard. Black fruits, smoke, grilled meats, graphite and spice. Solid wine but my least favorite of the three Syrahs. This is the bottle to open, of the current releases, if you are so inclined. My rating: 91 points.
  • 2012 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Rousse – 100% Syrah from Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road Vineyards on Red Mountain. Black fruits, olive brine, stones and violet. I’d stick this wine in a Northern Rhone tasting as a ringer. Hands off for the forseeable future. My rating: 94 points.
  • 2012 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Patriarche – 100% Syrah from Red Willow Vineyard. Dark, tight and inky. Exceptionally concentrated. Black fruits, coffee, game and pepper. This needs a ton of time in the cellar. Côte Patriarche is the best wine being made at Betz. A worthy follow up to the stellar 2011. My rating: 96 points.

I’ve been buying the Betz wines for a decade now. I can’t emphasize enough that the entire lineup needs extended time in the cellar. These current releases will be no exception.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. All of these new releases are worth searching for.

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2006 Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille – Bottle Notes

The 2006 Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille was the winning bottle in the March installment  of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was decanted for three hours.

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will remain high for years to come.

Opaque purple in color. 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. 14.5% ABV. Exotic nose of black fruits, leather and pipe tobacco. A wine of power and structure. Black currants, cassis, menthol, graphite and cherries on the palate. Silky tannins and a long, rich finish. This wine will drink well for at least another 5-7 years.

My rating: 93 points.

I’ve followed Betz from the start and still have bottles dating back to the ’02 vintage. I am confident these wines will age as gracefully as the likes of Woodward Canyon and Quilceda Creek.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2011 was just released and runs about $68.

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2007 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Rousse – Bottle Notes

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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will remain high for years to come.

Violet in color. 14.8% ABV. 100% Syrah from Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road Vineyards. Cherries, smoke, game and flowers on the nose. Very Northern Rhone like. The palate is all about black cherries, stones, saline and olives. Elegant and restrained. Drink over the next 1-3 years.

My rating: 91 points.

I’ve been buying the Betz wines for a decade now. I can’t emphasize enough that the entire lineup needs extended time in the cellar.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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