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2017 Heart of the Hill
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Heart of the Hill is all Red Mountain that saw a whopping 67% fermented in concrete tanks (this is a change for this estate) and will also spend 19 months in barrel. It’s a massive, concentrated, full-bodied Cabernet that has remarkable purity and balance as well as loads of blue fruits and classic Red Mountain minerality. It’s a killer wine, yet I suspect the cellar will be your friend.
Jeb Dunnuck: Barrel Score 97-99 Points
2017 was another exciting at Betz Family Winery. Every year we try to push the envelope on taking quality to the next level and 2017 was no exception. We spent countless hours in the vineyards and ran several new experiments in the winery. Our optical sorter and concrete fermenters continued to be star players along with many other cellar protocols that were diligently implemented, even after many long harvest days, attention to detail was never spared.
2017 started much later with a cool wet Spring. Then on the 10th of May things changed significantly and the growing season produced almost perfect conditions. We were able to pick later than the previous 3 years and harvest lingered over a 6 week period which was perfect.
We know great wines are made in the vineyard. Vintage after vintage we work with our growers and vineyard managers on the best practices to yield the highest quality grapes we can for that given season. We share common goals, a work ethic, and meticulous attention to detail that increases our chances of success substantially. Whether it's pruning, thinning, changing the canopy, or varying the vine nutrition, we work side by side to get the best results.
Harvest decisions are made by the ripeness of fruit, sensory analysis, and the weather. From year to year decisions are driven by both flavor and physical maturity. We are looking for the moment where the flavors and balance of the grape hit true phenolic ripeness. Our team did over 6,000 miles to and from the vineyards in Steve’s truck during harvest as we sampled 2-3 times per week to ensure our picking decisions were spot on. From bud break to the barrel and finally, to bottle our goal is to stay true to our ideologies. Exacting winemaking, cellar, and lab practices drive our goals of making the best wine we can.
The art and science of winemaking is a continuous learning adventure. The true balance of winemaking is achieved when science and art collide creating a bottle of wine well worth drinking. That’s what excites us as a team. All of our flagship wines are made from only the best barrels that we painstaking select over several months. Once this is done, we begin the blending process, all double-blind, until months later we select each wine that we believe reflects the character and quality of the site and vintage.