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2010 Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz 1.5 L, Columbia Valley RP--93


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

Tasting Notes

Robert Parker: 93 Points
Wine Advocate #204 Dec 2012 David Schildknecht 93 Drink: 2012 - 2022 $60-$65 Diversely-sourced – its Merlot blended with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon– the Betz 2010 Clos de Betz emphasizes black pepper, pungently resinous herbs, and arbor vitae, characteristics I imagine are in part a reflection of its 7% of Petit Verdot, that grape being demonstrably (I’m tempted to say notoriously ) efficacious. Cassis, huckleberry, and walnut offer bitter-edged but sappy fruit satisfaction; a crushed stone undertone adds a sense of intrigue; and mineral salts savory saliva-inducement in a gripping, palate-staining finish. This ought to be worth following for at least the better part of a 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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