2011 Père de Famille,
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.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 88% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 9% Petit Verdot
- 3% Merlot
- 100% French oak barrels
- 65% new
- 35% one fill (one year neutralized oak) for 16 months
- Best from 2016 through 2036
- Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
69% Red Mountain
- Ciel du Cheval
20% Horse Heaven Hills
- Alder Ridge
11% Yakima Valley
- Red Willow Vineyard
Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast: 95
Intriguing scents focus upon chamomile and Mediterranean herbs, while the fruit flavors are wild and brambly. Cherry candy and red licorice play broadly across the palate, lingering through a beautifully balanced and extended finish.
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.