Current Releases

2013 Bordeaux-Styled 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 weeks early, and in very good conditions. The result was a large crop that 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.
Join Bob, Steve and Louis chat about what made the 2013 vintage for our Bordeaux style wines so unique.
  Cuvée Frangin, Blend   Dolce Mio Figlio Clos de Betz, Bordeaux Blend Père de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon

 2013 Cuvée Frangin, Blend

"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 Dolce Mio Figlio

With each and every vintage, we keep our eyes open for opportunities to present themselves in the vineyard and the cellar. In 2013, Dick Boushey's lower yakima valley Syrah experienced a long hang time, and late harvest date, yielding deeply colored berries. Temptation turned into a plan to craft, for the second vintage in a row, Dolce Mio Figlio.

Following our success with the 2012 Dolce Mio Figlio, the same traditional "Port" methodology was utilized in the cellar : frequent and vigorous "punch downs" to extract the greatest flavor and color over a few short days, addition of neutral grape spirits to "arrest" the alcohol fermentation before even half of the natural grape sugars have been consumed by yeast, and finally a to the basket press for a "firm" pressing into barrel.

The character of the 2013 Dolce Mio Figlio is as singular and unique as the winemaking process itself. Two full years of aging in a single 300 liter barrel have yielded a deep ruby hue, and warm wood spices. The aromatics offer up spicy fruit flavors of blueberry, plum, and pomegranite. Dense fruit flavors on the palate lean toward mulled cherry, red currant, plum, and fig. The freshness of the vintage shines through, and supports the plush, ripe character of this wine. As with our inaugural vintage, the 2013 Dolce Mio Figlio offers plenty of charm for near term drinking, but will certainly reward ample time in the cellar.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes



Blending Detail and Aging Profile
 Blending Detail: 
  • 100% Syrah 
Barrel Program:
  • 300L used French Oak

Aging Profile:
  • Drink: 2016-2024+
AVA or Vineyard Detail
 Vineyard Detail:
  • 100% Boushey Vineyard
Acclaim
 

2013 Clos de Betz, Bordeaux Blend

If the story of Washington’s vineyards in 2013 was focused on the “Tale of Two Harvests” (early September harvest of Merlot and later harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon), the story in the cellar revolved around the exceptional quality of our Merlot blocks: from our coolest sites in the Yakima Valley, to our warmest blocks on Red Mountain, the resulting merlot wines show density, vibrant fruit flavors, and sweet tannins.
While Père de Famille highlights the later picking dates of this year’s Cabernet Sauvignon, this year’s Clos de Betz reflects the uninterrupted warmth and earlier harvest that Merlot enjoyed in 2013. Merlot showed a “completeness” in 2013 that can be hard to achieve every year from a single variety.

In the glass, the 2013 Clos de Betz displays a deep ruby hue, but the real excitement begins with the aromatics: black cherry, damson plum, and cocoa bean lead the charge, while leather, tobacco, sage, and truffle all show up with time in the glass. The palate offers merlot’s weight and density, yet faithfully expresses the freshness and detail of the vintage. This is further enhanced by the highest percentage ever of Petit Verdot in this blend (20%): dried thyme and pencil lead nuances add stunning complexity. This vintage of Clos de Betz reminds me of a classic, warmer, Right Bank wine, with both readiness and structure, and notable cellaring capacity.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile
 Barrel Program:
  • 100% New French Oak 

 Aging Profile
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
  • Drink from 2016-2024+
AVA or Vineyard Detail
 
Acclaim
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Barrel Sample (93-95)

"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." 

Click here to read Historical Acclaim

2013 Père de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon

In reviewing the 2013 vintage, it became clear to us that this years’ Père de Famille benefitted noticeably from what we describe as “The Tale of Two Vintages”. Following a warm growing season with an early start, the weather cooled down in mid September allowing additional hang time for our classic Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (4% of the blend).The Merlot vineyards destined for Père de Famille enjoyed steady warm weather from bud break, through verasion, and into an early September harvest. They showed all the density, richness, and generosity one would expect from such a warm season, (the warmest since 2003) with extra dimensions of aromatic complexity that has come to exemplify the 2013 vintage.

Just as we finished picking the Merlot blocks, the weather cooled down. This cooling slowed down the ripening for Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot: the extra time on the vine brought complexity and character to both varieties. The cooler weather also preserved the vital acidity of the grape and freshness in the wines, while allowing the tannin to ripen further. The result is a wonderfully integrated mouth feel, layers of fruit, with tension and dramatic length.

The high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (89%) gives the 2013 Père de Famille a vibrant, ruby-purple hue. The breadth of aromatics is exciting, expressed as red currant, blackberry blossom, crushed herbs, and leather, with creamy bay leaf, thyme and star anise notes. The palate is dense and penetrating, offers an elegant, vibrant structure, with a finish that reflects red fruits and spice. This vintage of Père de Famille is quite unique, with the readiness of a warm vintage, but the aromatics and aging ability of a cool growing season.

Click here to download a PDF Version of the Tasting Notes


Blending Detail and Aging Profile

Blending Detail:
  • 89% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 7% Merlot
  • 4% Petit Verdot
Barrel Program:
  • 100% New French Oak Barrels

 Aging Profile:
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
  • Drink: 2016- 2025+
AVA or Vineyard Detail
 
Acclaim
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Barrel Sample: (92-94)

"More approachable than the 2012, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pére de Famille has a 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."

Click here to read Historical Acclaim 
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