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2009 Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz, Columbia Valley RP--92 WS--91


Item Description: This bottle is in new condition with no known issues

Tasting Notes

Wine Spectator: 91 Points
Score: 91 Release Price: $52 Country: Washington Region: Washington Issue: Sep 30, 2012 Firm in texture, with chewy tannins around a core of vibrant, black olive-tinged black cherry and guava flavors, lingering with delicacy. An expressive wine, but needs time to soften. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Best after 2014. 900 cases made.--HS

Robert Parker: 92 Points
Wine Advocate #204 Dec 2012 David Schildknecht 92 Drink: 2012 - 2022 $55-$60 (55) Its diversely-sourced Merlot mingled with 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot, the Betz 2009 Clos de Betz is virtually as low-toned as its 2010 counterpart, but displays less sense of energy, primary juiciness, or herbal pungency, instead leading its plum and dark berry concentrate in the direction of confection, with suggestions of milk chocolate, brown spices, caramel and vanilla – marking one of the few instances in the two collections of Betz wines I tasted on this occasion where new oak becomes noticeable as such. Broad and sweetly ripe yet palpably if finely tannic, this clings tenaciously and promises to perform sumptuously over the course of the coming decade. Like so many of Washington’s most influential and successful wine personalities, Bob Betz is a veteran of Ste Michelle, for whom he directed promotion and educational outreach, in the process earning an M.W. Betz and his wife, Cathy, commenced their own operation in 1997, committed to blending across a range of the state’s best vineyards, and they built an attendant facility in 2005. “Since 2005,” he noted as we toured historic Red Willow Vineyard with its owner-manager Mike Sauer, “things are pretty constant – same rows, same blocks” not only from Red Willow but from the other growers with whom Betz works. Betz exudes self-consciousness and meticulousness, and in traveling around viticultural Washington, one quickly realizes that his advice is eagerly sought by and generously accorded colleagues of all ages and levels of experience. In April of last year, the Washington wine world was shocked by the news that the Betzes had sold their winery to South Africans Steve and Bridgit Griessel, whose backgrounds are in marketing. The plan is apparently for things to otherwise go on as before, with Betz calling the shots in winemaking indefinitely. He works very closely with all of his suppliers; fruit is subjected to sophisticated and stringent sorting; and fermentation is by inoculation with a wide range of specialized yeasts – like other aspects of winery protocol guided, Betz is eager to make clear, by an experimental spirit and scientific rigor. “We’re fans of efficient fermentations,” he elucidates, “so 7-10 days on the skins, and we’ll often press before dryness. We like efficient malolactic, too, so lots of stirring and we keep the temperature at 68-70 F. until it’s done.” The wines from Rhone varietals are raised in close to half new barriques for 12 months – except for Chapitre 3, which, like the four months longer-matured wines from Bordelais varieties, sees two-thirds new wood; the balance of barrels are exclusively second year; and wines aren’t racked from barrel until bottling unless deemed to show signs that they are demanding it. The Betz Syrahs are typically released around their second birthdays, while the wines from Bordelais bottlings aren’t released until six months later.

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