2010 Clos de Betz, Bordeaux Blend
Children of a Common Mother: our two 2010 Bordeaux blends clearly display the growing conditions of the cooler year, in color, aroma, flavor and texture. With Merlot as the dominant variety in this blend, the color isn’t as inky black s the Père de Famille, but the Clos de Betz still shows the dense color saturation from core to edge of the glass. Then the aroma takes center stage, with pure, vibrant black cherries, camphor, cocoa and a slight kirsch essence. Its foundation is a classic, complex expression of Washington Merlot, but since 40% of the blend is made from Petite Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the aroma takes on additional dimension of anise, rose petal and baking spice.
My tasting notes reflect an on-going satisfaction at the sense of complete ripeness for a cooler vintage: thank you, Washington Merlot. It enters very supple and plush, with a jolt of black cherry and red berries that stays true to the aroma. Dried herbs, chocolate and a touch of smoky oak play supporting roles. The finish dances with a combination of refined tannin and vibrant fruit, the signs of a successful future in the cellar.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 58% Merlot
- 7% Petit Verdot
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
51% Red Mountain:
- Ciel du Cheval
19% Horse Heavan Hills
- Alder Ridge
30% Yakima Valley
- Red Willow Vineyard
Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: “…93
points…. Diversely-sourced – its Merlot blended with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon– the Betz 2010 Clos de Betz emphasizes black pepper, pungently resinous herbs, and arbor vitae, characteristics I imagine are in part a reflection of its 7% of Petit Verdot, that grape being demonstrably (I’m tempted to say notoriously ) efficacious. Cassis, huckleberry, and walnut offer bitter-edged but sappy fruit satisfaction; a crushed stone undertone adds a sense of intrigue; and mineral salts savory saliva-inducement in a gripping, palate-staining finish. This ought to be worth following for at least the better part of a decade.
Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar: “93+
points. …Bright, full red. Spicy high notes to the aromas of raspberry, graphite, sandalwood and cocoa powder. Juicy, perfumed and precise; not a fleshy style but elegant, vibrant and extremely young. Today the wine's mid-palate flavors and texture are still a bit suppressed by the bottling, but this long, firm-edged wine has the structure and inherent material to be outstanding. In fact, I retasted the 2009 next to it, and while that wine was silkier and plusher, it is not likely to match the 2010 for complexity a few years down the road.