Current Releases

2013 Rhone-Inspired Wines


After the cooler vintages of 2010 and 2011, Washington is back to the more typical trend of warmth in 2012 and 2013. Bud break arrived in early April in many areas across the state, a sign that harvest would likely arrive earlier than usuall. Flowering took place anywhere from one week to four week early, and in very good conditions. The result was a large cropThat could be thinned out to only keep the very best clusters.

The heat stayed constant through the summer months, with just a little cooling over a couple days in July when we experienced a small amount of rainfall.  As September arrived, and we began to pick grapes, a cooling trend slowed things down in the second week of September.Some have called 2013 the tale of two harvests, referring to the period before and after the cooling trend. In 2013, the combination of above average heat, and cool night time temperatures resulted in rich textures combined with the life preserving acidity we value so much for freshness.
What Makes Washington Wine so Special? This video will give you the highlights that make us unique in so many magical ways.
 2012 Le Parrain    Bésoleil   Cuvée Frangin    La Côte Rousse   La Serenne La Côte Patriarche

 2012 Le Parrain 

Our 2012 Le Parrain is a historic wine. Yes, we made it once before in our 18 harvests, in 2005, but never have we created a blend that’s quite like this. We reserve the name Le Parrain (“The Godfather”) for a wine that achieves an extraordinary expression of Washington’s Bordeaux varieties. The 2012 vintage is unique in its blend and origin. Never before have we produced a wine that is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and 100% from Red Mountain. But that’s what we did for the 1012 Le Parrain: the vintage, vineyards and variety impeccably merged for this 9 barrel blend.

The result is a stunning example of Washington Cabernet. Black red in the glass, all the way to a vibrant magenta edge. Descriptors of its powerfully sweet aroma needs a page of their own: black currants, minerals, crushed rock, dried herbs, Asian spice and India ink, underlain with barrel scents of vanilla, toast and creamy talc. The mouthfeel is complete and compelling: rich, dense yet balanced. The purity of Cabernet fruit beams through with crème de cassis, cedar, anise and bay leaf. But it’s the texture that compels, so Cabernet-ish but without excess astringency. Its phenolic “package” is complete and poised.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile
 Blending Detail: 
  • 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 

 Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2025- 2050
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
 AVA & Vineyard Detail: 
  • 100% Red Mountain 
  • Ceil du Cheval, Kiona, and Heart of the Hill
Acclaim
99 POINTS
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


"A wine that flirts with perfection, 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 a 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

 2013 Bésoleil

Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes



Blending Detail and Aging Profile
Blending Detail:
  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise
 
Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2016 through 2022+
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
AVA & Vineyard Detail: 
  • Columbia Valley 
Acclaim
Robert Parker's WIne Advocate 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 Cuvée Frangin 

"Our little brothers blend"

2013 marks the second vintage of our newest wine in the Betz Family line up, Cuvée Frangin. The concept originally came to life in 2012 during our annual blending trials. The perennial question was raised “how do we push quality further? Looking at our efforts in the vineyard and cellar, the decision was made to perform an even stricter selection process of barrels that would make it into our flaship wines. If effect, we raised the bar for quality and character needed to make it into our final blends. At the same time, we utilized barrels that had historically found a home in our premium wines, to create Cuvée Frangin.

This year’s Cuvée Frangin offers a strong introduction to the 2013 vintage. Cut from the same cloth as our flagship wines, the Cuvée Frangin shares the vibrant fruit, silky texture, and sense of freshness that has us all excited about the vintage.

A greater amount of Cabernet Sauvignon was available to us at the blending table in 2013, which is immediately noticeable in the aromatics; Red currants, raspberries, and blackberries all compete for your attention, while more subtle notes of cedar spice and crushed herbs are expressed with time in the glass.

The palate offers plush fruit flavors, and this is where the Rhone varietals show their presence. Flavors of plum, pomegranate, and strawberry are supported by crisp acidity, and velvety tannins. The palate is deep and layered, but above all showing the mouthwatering structure of the’13 vintage. The finish is sweet, and reflects the marriage of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals.

The Cuvée Frangin is certainly capable of improving with bottle age, but is irresistible now.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile
Blending Detail:
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Petit Verdot
  • Merlot
  • Syrah

Aging Profile:

  • Best Now through 2019
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
The wine is a blend of Bordeaux varieties and Syrah sourced from some of the most famous vineyards in the Columbia Valley, includung Ciel du Cheval, Kiona and Klipsun on Red Mountain, Red Willow, Du Brul, Boushey and Olsen in Yakima Valley, Alder Ridge in the Horse Heaven Hills and Upland on Snipes Mountain. 
Acclaim
91 Points: Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah and aged 15 months in 30% new French oak, 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.

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!

 2013 La Côte Rousse

Red Mountain is the Source of our “biggest” Syrah, which is often described as Brooding, structured, and inky.La Cote Rousse is not necessarily made from a single vineyard, instead hailing from 2 different vineyards adjacent to each other in the very heart of red mountain. But this wine may be our strongest case for the uniqueness of site expression in Washington Syrah.

The non fruit aromas are strong here: Smoke, roasted meat, dusty gravel, and bacon fat all ride above the fruit. Blackberry and black cherry come through in waves.The wine is full bodied, with a palate impression of great power.The elegance of the 2013 vintage has endowed La Côte Rousse with an unusual combination of power and refinement.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile
Blending Detail:
  • 100% Syrah
  • Clones: 99,383,174

Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2017 through 2024+
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
 AVA & Vineyard Detail:
  •  Ceil du Cheval, Red Mountain 
Acclaim
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 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

Situated in the Lower Yakima Valley, just North East of Grandview, Boushey Vineyard is our “coolest” site for Syrah.This means potentially more hang time to develop complex game and spice notes for the grape.Our La Serenne typically expresses the “wild” side of Syrah, and 2013 was no exception.Wild Blueberry, Damson plums, purple snap dragons, and lilacs are all present.While its common for La Serenne to be closed down aromatically and brooding at this age, in 2013 the wine shows more generous flavors, and a refined texture already.Of our 3 single site Syrah’s, look for Boushey to offer the most pleasure early on.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile
Blending Detail: 
  • 100% Syrah

Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2017 through 2024+
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
AVA & Vineyard Detail:  
  • Yakima Valley
Acclaim
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 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.

2013 La Côte Patriarche

Red Willow vineyard is the most westerly vineyard Betz Family sources fruit from in Washington.Situated southwest of Yakima, the site is so distinctive, and isolated from the rest the state, it could be seen as its own AVA. Red Willow has a long, storied history of wine quality. David Lake and Mike Sauer had the foresight in 1986 to plant the states first Syrah vines on the treacherously steep slopes of what is known today as the “Chapel Block” Today we reap the benefits of their work. How does one describe La Côte Patriarche? Deep, layered, structured, with the ability to evolve and open with time in the glass.Blackberry, blueberry, and black cherry fruits mingle with spice notes of sage and crushed herbs. Black olive and lavender are unleashed with time in the glass La Côte Patriarche may just be the longest lived Syrah we craft.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile
 Blending Detail:
  • 100% Syrah 

Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2016 through 2025+
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
  • 100% Red Willow Vineyard, west end of the Yakima Valley 
Acclaim
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 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.- Jeb Dunnuck

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