1997 Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon
This is the first wine from Betz Family Winery. For years we've believed that Washington's Columbia Valley produces some of this country's finest grapes. Our "research" over the past 30 years in nearly every vineyard district in the US and Europe keeps us coming back to the natural character of Washington wines. They're a blend of the best elements of the new and old worlds: full, ripe fruit, yet textured for food and structured for longevity.
Alpha is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Grapes were hand harvested into small bins from vineyards on Red Mountain and the mid-Yakima Valley. Hand sorting of the clusters at the winery preceded crushing into small, 2-ton fermenters. After 24 hours of maceration, the must was inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast. Fermentation continued for 14 days, with a twice daily punch down by hand. The wine was drained and pressed at dryness, and put directly into barrels. Each barrel was inoculated at pressing with malo-lactic culture.
Barrels were 100 % French oak, 2/3 new, a range of coopers, all Center of France. We used a blend of Allier, Nevers and Tronçais forests. Included were new Haut Brion and Margaux barrels. Each barrel was racked every 2-3 months. In early 1999 the wine was lightly fined and racked a final time before bottling in April, 1999, after18 months of barrel maturation.
Wine Analysis: pH 3.66
Total Acidity: 5.3 g/l