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2017 Clos de Betz
Clos de Betz honors Bob and Cathy Betz’s earliest dreams of starting a winery. In 1973, they stood before one of the foremost temples of French Pinot Noir, the Burgundian vineyard Clos de Beze, struck by the profound way it could exemplify both a sense of place and the purity of its variety. They resolved that they would one day produce a wine that manages to convey that ever so elusive but magical marriage of site character and varietal expression. Washington Merlot, with its singular dance of weighty richness and structured minerality, provided the perfect canvas and has formed the core of Clos de Betz since its first vintage in 1998.
The 2017 Clos de Betz displays a brilliant magenta rim leading to a dark, ruby core. The aromatic fireworks scream Merlot: black cherry, pomegranate, licorice, and cocoa powder almost leap from the glass, with savory leather, tobacco, sage, and black pepper emerging with air. The palate shows Clos de Betz’s characteristic weight and density in spades, expressing freshness with almost distilled richness and concentration. Flavors of black and red raspberry, dark chocolate, anise, and orange peel lead into a long, intense, and mouthwatering finish. Perhaps the richest, most extroverted Clos de Betz of the last decade, 2017 still shows plenty of stuffing to support a long life ahead.