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Library Vintages

A blend of the best elements of the new and the old worlds; wines of dimension and pleasure, wines that allow the character of Washington to shine through.

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1999 Clos de Betz,

Bordeaux Style Blend

Clos de Betz is the softer, earlier-maturing companion to our sturdier Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille. The mix of vineyards and varietal percentages change each year, but we blend Clos de Betz for the common threads of rich, sweet red and black fruits and up front appeal.

The Clos de Betz blend for 1999 is 42% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Cabernet Franc, but Merlot takes center stage: it's ripe, juicy and sweetly perfumed. We used grapes predominantly from cooler vineyard sites in the mid-Yakima Valley that give us bright notes in the aroma and softer, plusher tannins on the palate. Additional Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills and Cabernet Franc from Red Mountain provide backbone.

This wine typifies why people love Bordeaux blends from Washington. A deep red color leads to abundant cherry and raspberry fruit aromas, with hints of chocolate and mocha. Black pepper and sweet oak round out the aroma. Penetrating Merlot flavors of cherry and plum are the base on which spice, licorice and raspberry play supporting roles. There's a lot of early appeal to this wine with its supple, drink-me-now charm, but the added Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc provide enough spine for mid-term cellaring. (210 cases available)

From Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (tasted July 2001): "...Blackberry, blueberry, licorice, shoe polish and Christmas spices on the nose…displays very good intensity of black fruit flavors."