Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.
Full, dark ruby-red. Black fruit and licorice aromas are complicated by a mineral element. Wonderfully sappy, concentrated and ripe, with well-delineated Merlot-dominated flavors of black fruits, licorice and bitter chocolate conveying sexy sweetness. Finishes with plush tannins and excellent length. A superb vintage for this wine, clearly more concentrated and ripe than the 2016. Winemaker Skinner told me that the Petit Verdot element from Olsen vineyard is somewhat Pinot-like and actually softens this wine's tannins. And he noted that the cool late-season temperatures in 2017 allowed for easy picking. (aged until June of '18 in 60% new oak before being moved to neutral barrels for nearly another year of aging)
- Stephen Tanzer 93 Points
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Clos de Betz has a vibrant expression on the nose, with plush, generous fruit aromas and an underlying brooding tightness. Full-bodied on the palate, the fleshy, plump fruit tones deliver a velvety lushness over the mid-palate, then the wine becomes more dusty and rigid on the finish, ending with oak spices that linger. I will revisit this swine in 36 months, as I suspect it will show better at a later date. This will easily last a decade and more. 750 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points