News and Acclaim

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The Betz Team

Bob Givng an overview on Harvest 2012

Recent Acclaim Industry News Video

2015 Acclaim

November 17, 2015

 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"These latest releases from Betz Family Winery are flat out great, and as I said last year, the 2012s are the greatest wines I've tasted from this estate. While the winery was sold to the Griessel family in 2011, Bob Betz has remained firmly involved and there's certainly been no dip whatsoever in quality; if anything, the wines show another level of texture, purity and structure. While assistant winemaker Tyson Schiffner has moved from making wine to brewing beer, he's been replaced by Louis Skinner, who was the assistant winemaker at Delille for a number of years. In short, readers who want to see the best of Washington State need to check out these latest releases!"- Jeb Dunnuck 

2013 Clos de Betz, Bordeaux Blend (93-95) Points 
Inky colored, it has terrific and classic notes of plums, black raspberry, violets, espresso and scorched earth to go with full-bodied richness, lots of fruit and mid-palate depth, and an overriding sense of elegance and purity that carries through the finish. I wrote "classic" about three time in the note, and this is a beautiful 2013 that will cruise for 15 years or more in the cellar.

2013 Pére de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon (92-94) Points

Full-bodied, sexy, yet still focused and pure style to go with pretty and expressive notes of red plums, cassis, black raspberries, violets, graphite and spring flowers. It has a great finish and sweet tannin, and while it has plenty of fruit, I suspect it will firm up once in bottle and require short-term cellaring.

July 29, 2015

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2012 Le Parrain, Cabernet Sauvignon 99 Points:
A wine that flirts with perfection, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon le Perrain consists of 9 barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, all from Red Mountain (Ciel du Cheval, Kiona and Heart of the Hill vineyards), that spent 20 months in 100% new French oak. Only made twice since 1997, it offers an extraordinary bouquet of cassis, lead pencil shavings, liquid violets and crushed rock. This gives way to a full-bodied, layered, elegant, yet massively concentrated wine that never puts of foot wrong, is always perfectly balanced and has incredible purity of fruit. Tasting like a first growth Bordeaux from a great vintage, it will need a decade of cellaring and keep for a quarter of a century. Hats off to the team here for this stunner!- Jeb Dunnuck 

July 07, 2015


"These latest releases from Betz Family Winery are flat out great, and as I said last year, the 2012s are the greatest wines I've tasted from this estate. While the winery was sold to the Griessel family in 2011, Bob Betz has remained firmly involved and there's certainly been no dip whatsoever in quality; if anything, the wines show another level of texture, purity and structure. While assistant winemaker Tyson Schiffner has moved from making wine to brewing beer, he's been replaced by Louis Skinner, who was the assistant winemaker at Delille for a number of years. In short, readers who want to see the best of Washington State need to check out these latest releases!"- Jeb Dunnuck

2013 Cuvée Frangin, Washington Blend 91 Points:

The 2013 Cuvee Frangin is a terrific value that gives lots of Betz character in its ripe blackberry fruit, violets, wild herb and underbrush aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and downright pretty, it's delicious now, but should evolve gracefully as well. 

2013 Besoleil, Grenache 92 Points:
It's an elegant, medium to full-bodied, Provencal-styled effort that has lots of sweet red and black fruits, garrigue and hints of cured meats. It's a total charmer that will have 10-12 years of overall longevity. – Jeb Dunnuck

2013 La Côte Patriarche, Syrah 97 Points:
Impenetrable inky colored (even by Betz's standards), the 2013 La Cote Patriarche is another blockbuster from this team, and probably the greatest Syrah I've tasted from them. Coming all from the Red Willow vineyard and some of the oldest Syrah vines planted in Washington, it has seriously intense blackberry, wet gravel, licorice and smoked meat aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, massive, rich and concentrated style on the palate. A tour de force in Washington State Syrah, it will have 20 years or more of overall longevity.

2013 La Côte Rousse, Syrah 95+ Points:
Exhibiting lots of blackberry, black raspberry, graphite, smoke and crushed rock, it's beautifully concentrated, has top-notch purity of fruit and a great finish. I love its mid-palate density, and while it has a lot of tannins, they're nicely integrated into the body of the wine. Give it 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2033. It should be one of the longest-lived Syrahs in the vintage.

2013 La Serenne Syrah 94 Points:
Scheduled to be released this fall,it has intense, yet fresh and lively notes of violets, spring flowers, cracked pepper, iron and sweet black and blue fruits. Full-bodied, pretty, lively and nicely focused, give it a year or two and enjoy bottles through 2028.

June 10, 2015

2012 Pére de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon- 95 pts: Editors' Choice
Columbia Valley

2012 Clos de Betz, Bordeaux-style Red Blend- 94pts: Editors' Choice
Columbia Valley

2014 Acclaim

December 03, 2014

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

2012 La Cote Rousse, Syrah - 95pts

Possessing full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration, high, yet sweet tannin, and a terrific finish, this awesome Syrah will be at its best from 2017-2027.While these wines always have considerable structure and focused profiles, these 2012s have an extra dimension of depth and texture, and should not be missed!

2012 La Cote Patriarche, Syrah - 96pts

Produced from the Red Willow Vineyard and mostly from the oldest Syrah vines planted in Washington. Inky purple in color, with mineral-laced blackberry, cassis, crushed flowers, smoked earth and licorice, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth, a seamless texture and overriding sense of elegance that carries through the finish.

2012 La Serenne, Syrah - 96 pts

The 2012 Syrah La Serenne is 100% Syrah aged in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. I think the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, it boasts an incredibly inky purple color to go with notions of crème de cassis, damp earth, graphite, smoke, and licorice that flow to a full bodied, voluptuously textured profile on the palate. Despite all the richness, it stays thrillingly focused and shows the purity and elegance of the site.

2012 Besoleil, Grenache - 94pts

A Rhone- styled blend, the 2012 Besoleil is made from 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre that's aged in neutral oak. Gorgeous on all accounts, it has fantastic density and depth, with medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful freshness and classic Grenache-driven aromas and flavors of Provence and flowers. Already hard to resist, it should evolve gracefully for over a decade.

2012 Cuvee Frangin - 91pts
The 2012 Cuvee Frangin is a new cuvee that’s playing in the
value-end of the spectrum, and it does a damn good job of it. A blend of 36% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Syrah and the balance Petit Verdot that spent a year in 20-25% new French oak, it offers knockout aromas and flavors of plum, tobacco leaf, dried herbs, and spice to go with a medium to full- bodied, supple and downright sexy profile on the palate. Up-front and ready to go, it will nevertheless have close to a decade of longevity and is a perfect intro into the style of this estate. It also represents a superb value.

2012 Clos de Betz 95pts 

Tasted as a barrel sample and Betz's take on a right bank Bordeaux, the 2012 Clos de Betz is 67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Petit Verdot. Inky-purple in color (has anyone seen a Betz wine not inky purple?), it offers impressive cassis, plum liqueur, spring flowers and underbrush-style aromas and flavors to go with a mouth filling, layered and voluptuous style on the palate. I love the mid-palate here, and the tannin builds through the finish, so, while it should have plenty of up front appeal it should also evolve for 15+ years.

2012 Pere de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon 95+pts

More Cabernet dominated, the 2012 Pere de Famille incorporates 6% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. This knockout effort has masculine, earthy notes of black currants; smoke, graphite, crushed rock and dusty soil to go with a full-bodied, powerful and focused feel on the palate.

December 03, 2014


2012 Betz Family Vineyards La Cote Patriarche, Syrah - 92+pts

Bright, deep medium ruby. Musky, feral aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice pastille, wild herbs, and fruity black peppercorn. Tight, high-pitched and penetrating, even un-giving today, with powerful blueberry and blackberry flavors accented by black pepper.

2012 Betz Family Vineyard La Cote Rousse, Syrah - 93+pts

Subtle, slightly candied red berry and floral aromas convey a distinctly savory quality plus a suggestion of nutty oak. Then distinctly soil-driven in the mouth with red raspberry and spice flavors joined by a saline quality and a strong impression of granitic minerality. And yet, this wine boasts excellent energy, the tannins are serious, but broad and ripe and the finish is sweet and long.

2012 Betz Family Vineyard La Serenne, Syrah - 93pts

Wonderfully floral aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, game, violet, and lavender. Juicy, savory and sharply delineated, delivering terrific energy to its inviting black fruit and violet flavors. This wine too, shows lovely ripe acidity for the vintage-no surprise as this is a cool site. Finishes classically dry, lightly saline and very long.

2012 Betz Family Winery Besoleil - 92+pts

A blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah. Musky, brooding nose offers deep black fruit and pomegranate aromas complicated by smoke and game elements that carry through onto the palate. Boasts urgent dark fruit intensity with outstanding retention of acidity for this ripe year. This serious , densely packed wine shows a strong old-viney Grenache sweetness. Very sexy wine with a long aftertaste.

2012 Betz Family Cuvee Frangin- 90pts

Good dark red. Red fruits and flowers on the claret-like nose. Shows more Syrah influence in its texture, offering ripe acidity and good spice lift to the dark berry flavors. A bit of Counoise adds juiciness. This bright, spicy wine delivers the Betz touch at a gentle price.

January 04, 2014

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 2011 Betz Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille Columbia Valley - 94+ pts

Good bright red-ruby. Musky red berries, licorice, thyme, rosemary and pepper on the scented nose. Creamy-sweet, suave and deep but at the same time precise and youthful, offering lovely perfumed flavors of red berries, cocoa powder (from the Taransaud oak?) and anise. Very intensely flavored cabernet with terrific lift and aromatic persistence and remarkably suave, dusty tannins. Betz describes 2011 as a year with lower total polyphenols, higher acidity and lower pHs than 2010.

2011 Betz Family Vineyards Clos de Betz Red Wine Columbia Valley - 93 pts

(67% merlot, 28% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot; aged in 65% new oak): Good bright, deep red. Redcurrant, cocoa powder and musky tobacco on the nose. Gentle and creamy in the mouth for 2011, with harmonious ripe acidity framing the sweet red berry, cherry and cocoa powder flavors. This floral merlot-based wine is supported by firm acids and tannins but comes across as quite feminine in style. Betz notes that 2011 was a very good year for merlot.

January 04, 2014

 Robert Parker

Jeb Dunnuk, Wine Advocate

2011 Pere de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon: 93-95pts (barrel tasting)

As with the 2011 Clos de Betz, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille is a softer, more approachable version of its 2010 counterpart. A Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend, it offers up a pretty, perfumed bouquet of jammy raspberry, cassis, tobacco and assorted floral nuances to go with a full-bodied, seamless and elegant profile on the palate. Where the 2010 will require cellar time to become civilized, this should be reasonably approachable on release; nevertheless, it should evolve gracefully given its overall balance and purity.

2011 Clos de Betz, Cabernet Sauvignon: 92pts (barrel tasting)

Looking at the Bordeaux-styled releases from barrel, the 2011 Clos de Betz is the estate’s take on a right bank Bordeaux and will be a blend of roughly 63% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Lacking the weight of the 2010, it is a softly textured, elegant effort that has notions of flowers, black fruit, pepper and incense to go with a medium to full-bodied, balanced mouthfeel. Already reasonably approachable, it will be interesting to see how this shows from bottle; if it puts on weight, the score and drink window will be conservative.  

2014 Industry News

December 19, 2014

 Great NW Wine

Betz Family Estate Vineyard

December 16, 2014 By Andy Perdue

One of Washington’s most storied wineries is planting its first estate vineyard – and it will be in the southern Walla Walla Valley.

Betz Family Winery, launched in 1997 by Master of Wine Bob Betz, has purchased land in SeVein, a young vineyard region near Milton-Freewater, Ore., that already is producing grapes for some of the world’s finest red wines.
“It’s the next logical step for Betz Family Winery,” said Steve Griessel, who purchased the winery with his wife, Bridgit, from Bob and Cathy Betz in 2011. “It’s the natural progression that Bob and Cathy had in their minds.”

Bob Betz got into the wine industry when he took a job with Chateau Ste. Michelle in January 1976. He and his wife launched Betz Family Winery in 1997 in a Woodinville warehouse. After retiring from Ste. Michelle in 2003, he focused all of his attention on the winery, ultimately building a winemaking facility near Chateau Ste. Michelle. Betz remains the head winemaker for his namesake winery and will continue to serve in that role for at least the next two years.

Betz told Great Northwest Wine that he and Cathy made a conscious decision in their early days to focus on building a winery for Betz Family Winery rather than planting a vineyard.

“We saw that for what we needed to do, investing our nest egg into a winery was the best thing for us,” he said. “I have enormous respect for everyone who is growing grapes for us. They are terrific growers and will continue to be for us.”

Read More:

Releated Articles:
Wines & Vines By Peter Mitham, December 16th, 2014
Puget Sound Business Journal By Patty Payne , December 18th, 2014
Woodinviille Wine Update By Shona Milne, December 17th, 2014
March 06, 2014



March 6, 2014 By 
While a relatively young winery, founded only in 1997, Betz quickly joined the upper echelon of producers in Washington State. Propelled by the enthusiasm and experience of Bob Betz, who had spent nearly three decades with Chateau Ste. Michelle prior to founding Betz, the winery emerged as a leader particularly with their Bordeaux styled blends. The wines stand out as Washington styled if for no other reason than their Appellation. Columbia Valley is on the label because Bob draws from the top vineyards throughout the state blending varietals from the finest vineyard to create wines that truly are greater than the sum of their parts.

In 2011 Bob and Cathy Betz sold the Betz Family Winery to Steve and Bridgit Griessel with Bob agreeing to remain on as winemaker for a five year period. Seeing as they are now releasing the first set of wines that were made in the post-Betz ownership period I thought it would be a fine time to pay a visit and see what has changed. It seems very little has in fact changed and these remain among the very finest wines in both Washington State and the world. Hard to find, but worth tracking down if you can these continue to be stunningly fine, powerful, and refined wines.

Read More:

2013 Industry News

November 22, 2013

Taste of TulalipTulalip, Washington — Sommelier Tom Thompson is pleased to announce the Taste of Tulalip’s 5th anniversary wine, a collaboration between honorary winemaker Bob Betz and the Tulalip wine team.

For the first time, Betz Family Winery crafted a distinctive signature wine from their best barrels for a specific event, and worked closely with Tulalip on the process.  The commemorative blend will be introduced during the November 8, Friday night Celebration Dinner.  This annual 2-day Taste focuses on the enjoyment of food, wine and tradition.

“This blend is a collaboration between two individuals who embrace a true passion for excellence. Bob Betz and Tommy Thompson have a mutual interest for creating an unparalleled wine from Washington’s best grapes, which can be experienced in every sip of this 5th Anniversary wine,” says Lisa Severn, Food and Beverage Director.

The Wine

Tulalip’s one-of-a-kind anniversary blend is composed of 75% Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant) and 25% Syrah.  These grapes were sourced from Washington state’s top AVA vineyards: Red Mountain (52%), Yakima Valley (33%), and Horse Heaven Hills (15%).  This wine was  matured in 100% French oak barrels (with 80% in new oak), for 16 months.  “We are very pleased with this new blend featuring penetrating Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics — yet a supple mouthfeel from Syrah,” says Betz.

The Winemaker

Bob Betz, founder, patriarch and guiding light of Betz Family Winery, began his pursuit of winemaking  in the early 1970s.  He and wife Cathy crisscrossed European vineyards, to better understand the why and how of crafting fine wine.  Bob holds the degree of Master of Wine (MW), a designation awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London.  His philosophy is pretty simple: focus on what the vineyards have provided, and start with the highest quality fruit you can find.  Treat it vigorously when necessary, gently most of the time, and stay out of its way, but watch it closely.  Then allow the wines to develop slowly, and make sure they provide exceptional pleasure.

The Art — Les Deux Frères (Two Brothers in French)

The 5th Anniversary artwork, which appears on the bottle of this year’s special blend, is reflective of a well-known Tulalip legend.  According to the Tribe’s story-tellers, long ago at Priest Point, there were two brothers who were famous seal hunters.  Due to family trouble, the brothers left to live in the ocean and became Killer Whales.  One year, there were unusually harsh fall and winter storms as well as temperature changes and the people could not follow tradition by storing food away.  By spring, when the early salmon run started, they thought their hunger was at an end. However, hordes of seals invaded the local waters, chasing and devouring the salmon before any could be caught.  It was then that “The Two Brothers” were remembered.  The people called out to them for help, recalling that they had been experts at food gathering.  Hearing their cry, the Killer Whales (Two Brothers) arrived and caught every seal, saving the people from starvation and preserving the salmon run for coming generations.

The Artist

Jason Gobin has been creating Coast Salish artworks since he was a young boy.  As the honored artist for the 5th annual Taste of Tulalip, Gobin has created a special anniversary piece. This signature creation will be showcased throughout the weekend and will be engraved on the anniversary wine bottle.  Many of his works, inspired by Tribal history are on display at the Tulalip Resort Casino, Stevens Pass Ski Resort and numerous installations around the Pacific Northwest.  With a deep appreciation for nature, Jason can be found working as the Forestry Manager for Tulalip while caring for the Tribes Timber Resources on the 11,000 acre reservation.  Caretaker for the Tribes’ traditional dugout canoe, he is also the Vice Chairman for the Tulalip Fish & Wildlife Commission and a commercial fisherman.

The 5th annual Taste of Tulalip takes place November 8 and 9. For Grand Taste tickets, go to or

About Tulalip Resort Casino

Award winning Tulalip Resort Casino is the most distinctive gaming, dining, meeting, entertainment and shopping destination in Washington State.  The AAA Four Diamond resort’s world class amenities have ensured its place on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold and Traveler Top 100 Resorts lists, as well as Preferred Hotel & Resorts membership.  The property includes 192,000 square feet of gaming excitement; a luxury hotel featuring 370 guest rooms and suites; 30,000 square feet of premier meeting, convention and wedding space; the full-service T Spa; and 6 dining venues, including the AAA Four Diamond Tulalip Bay Restaurant.  It also showcases the intimate Canoes Cabaret; a 3,000-seat amphitheater. Nearby, find the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Cabela’s; and Seattle Premium Outlets, featuring more than 110 name brand retail discount shops. The Resort Casino is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. just off Interstate-5 at exit 200. It is an enterprise of the Tulalip Tribes.  For reservations please call (866) 716-7162.

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