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2014 Clos de Betz
The quality and character of the 2014 Clos de Betz reflect the success we had with the merlot variety in this vintage. Following an August with consistently warm temperatures, the night time temperatures in the vineyard began to fall rapidly during the first full week of September. The first Merlot of the season was picked on September 8th, which included 3 individual blocks at Ciel du Cheval, and 1 block at Klipsun.
This first flush of Merlot provided a picture of what would continue for the remainder of the Season: Remarkably clean, intensely flavored grapes that easily stained our hands and palates. The character of each block was clearly on display- Ciel du Cheval expressing not only the different planting years (including the 1976 planting of Merlot), but the 3 individual clones that are planted here (181,348,3).
Over the following 10 days, four additional blocks of Merlot were harvested including Red Willow, Elephant Mountain, Seven Hills, and Dubrul Vineyard. The trend of compelling Merlot continued, reaching its summit with the Dubrul Vineyard Merlot. The berry size came in smaller than any Cabernet Sauvignon of the season, and the grape skins quickly stained our sorting table a deep shade of maroon. This deeply colored lot aided Clos de Betz to reach a new level of density and complexity.
In 2014, Clos de Betz could be mistaken for Père de Famille if judged by appearance only: A vibrant Magenta hue on the edge of the glass leads to an opaque core. The aromatics hold up their part of the deal with lavender and thyme sharing the stage with layers of Black cherry, red currant, and pomegranate fruit. In line with our other 2014 Bordeaux wines, Clos de Betz offers weight and richness on the palate, softening the tannic impression and has a long sweet finish.