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2012 Cuvée Frangin and 2011 Bordeaux Styled Wines

Supple, yet focused, Cuvée Frangin brings together the structure of Bordeaux with the suppleness of the Rhone.

In 2012 we declassified wine for the first time.  This reduced the amount of our flagship wines and provided the ability to take quality to the next level.  Barrels that didn't make it into our flagship wines have been blended to make Cuvee Frangin.  Read More
2011 Père de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Clos de Betz, Bordeaux Blend Cuvée Frangin, Washington Blend

2011 Père de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon

Talk about hang time: we harvested 100% of our Cabernet Sauvignon this vintage after October 10, most of it in the final days of the month. This is a record for us and reflects the cool start to the season. Those lazy days of slow ripening led to an intensity of flavor and completeness of Cabernet’s penetrating character. It retains the vitality of a cooler vintage, but with the black currant, plum and black cherry of fully developed Cabernet. Part of that is due to the highest concentration yet of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Pere de Famille, 88%. Merlot and Petit Verdot play minor roles, so this wine is unapologetically Cabernet.

The essential Cabernet fruit is enhanced by floral, rocky notes, dried thyme and anise, spice box, and vanilla oak aromas. It’s sturdy wine, tenacious and promising of long cellar potential, but opens with creamy integration to an elegant, long finish.

Click here to download a PDF version of the 2011 Père de Famille tasting notes

Click here to download a PDF version of ALL the 2011 Bordeaux tasting notes



Blending Detail and Aging Profile
Blending Detail:
  • 88% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 9% Petit Verdot
  • 3% Merlot

Barrel Program:
  • 100% French oak barrels
  • 65% new/35% one fill, for 16 months

Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2016 through 2036
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
Vinyard Detail:
  • 69% Red Mountain -  Ciel du Cheval, Kiona, Klipsun
  • 20% Horse Heaven Hills - Alder Ridge
  • 11% Yakima Valley - Red Willow Vineyard
Acclaim
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, (barrel tasting), 95

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.

Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar:  “… 94+  

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 Clos de Betz, Bordeaux Blend

Our first Merlot grapes ripened nearly two weeks later than average this vintage, and the longer hang time benefited Merlot’s intrinsic rich fruitiness. As the traditional foundation of Clos de Betz (67% this bottling), Merlot always provides its substance and texture, and with the additional hang time, these are highlighted in 2011. The delayed ripening led to a supple mouthfeel, characterful aromas and fine depth of flavor. Ripe black cherry, mocha and wood spice are the hallmarks of this wine and are reflected in the wine.

The additional dimension of this vintage is its ageability. It reminds us of the Clos de Betz from 1999, another cool vintage, which at 12 years old is drinking beautifully. Both the 1999 and 2011 are reminiscent of a well-crafted, top flight St. Emilion. This 2011, with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, certainly has the vitality and structure to go the distance. During future cellaring, look for emerging aromas of cherry, dark plum and cocoa powder, while the palate softens to a harmonious, creamy texture.

Click here to download PDF version of tasting notes
Click here to download a PDF version of ALL the 2011 Bordeaux tasting notes



Blending Detail and Aging Profile
Blending Detail:
  • 67% Merlot
  • 28% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5% Petit Verdot
Barrel Program:
  • 100% French oak barrels
  • 65% new/35% one fill, for 16 months

Aging Profile:
  • Best from 2016 through 2036
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA or Vineyard Detail
Vinyard Detail:
  • 35% Red Mountain
  • 35% Horse Heaven Hills - Alder Ridge
  • 30% Yakima Valley - Red Willow Vineyard
Acclaim
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, (barrel tasting), 92

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.

Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar:  “… 93  

(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.

2012 Cuvée Frangin, Washington Blend


We decided to tighten up our already-strict selection criteria even more and raise the hurdle for any barrel to make it into the final blends of our flagship wines: Père de Famille and Clos de Betz, our three Syrahs and Bésoleil. The new standards have reduced the amount of these wines and provide the ability to take overall quality to the next level. Barrels that don’t make it into our flagship wines have been blended to make Cuvée Frangin; barrels that don’t meet these new rigorous criteria are sold off as usual.

The results are exciting, uniting the classic varieties that we’ve made and matured side by side every vintage. Our new Washington red blend, Cuvée Frangin (koo-vay frahn-jhan), unites the aromatic complexity and structure of our Bordeaux varieties with the supple mouthfeel of Syrah. The individual wines in the blend have long been separate parts of our family portfolio, and now they weave together seamlessly, providing a compelling richness and balance.

We crafted Cuvée Frangin in a more approachable style using multiple varieties, less new oak, and an overall gentler approach. It is designed to be enjoyed younger but will age for several years.

Click here to download a PDF version of the tasting notes




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

Barrel Program:
  • 100% French oak barrels
  • 20% new/80% one fill, for 12 months

Aging Profile:
  • Best Now through 2018
  • 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.
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