*Cellar Selection* The fragrance is almost otherworldly; sweet, dense and lightly lifted. This is a sinewy wine, that begins with compact power and focused, tart red fruits—predominantly raspberry and currant. At first juicy and tart, with hours of breathing time the wine broadens out into a wider spectrum of Cabernet fruits; cassis, blackberry, and black cherry.
I had a chance to retaste the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille. Last year I though the wine was a bit compressed but that time would likely round it out. One year later the wine has blossomed and appears headed for a promising future. Betz Family Winery, run impeccably by Bob Betz, MW, remains a Washington benchmark for top quality Syrah and Bordeaux blends. With his connections from decades of service at Chateau Ste-Michelle, Betz is able to purchase choice fruit from some of the state’s finest vineyards including Boushey, Red Willow, Ciel du Cheval, Alder Ridge, Kiona, and Klipsun. Regarding the 2006 vintage, Betz says, “I took a long time to warm up to the vintage, but the wines have come on strong.” (JM)
(84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec) Good deep, bright ruby-red. Sappy aromas of crushed blackberry, licorice, minerals, and spices. Wonderfully sweet but less pliant and open today than the Clos de Betz; more affected by the bottling. With aeration, this showed subtle cabernet notes of cassis, Belgian chocolate and fresh herbs. This dense, thick wine boasts outstanding structure and dimension, and finishes with terrific persistence. Betz used his highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon to date in this wine, and the lowest amount of Merlot. 93+ (ST)
Smooth, open-textured and generous with its currant and blackberry fruit, gliding easily over a bed of polished tannins as the flavors linger against haunting hints of cream and coffee.
Steering ever so slightly to herbs, dusty earth and a bit of pencil-box spice and away from immediate fruit, this deep and quietly complex effort conveys a sense of refinement and claret-like grace while hinting at potency at the same time. Its seeming reserve holds it in good stead for development, and we would not be at all surprised to see it improve for upwards of a decade or more.
This mostly Cabernet, mostly Red Mountain red leads with initial scents of dark, smoky oak-the wine's power is palpable in the aroma alone. The flavor doesn't disappoint: it's as dense as flourless chocolate cake, with a core of blackberry fruit. A big wine, it needs a big accompaniment, like roast lamb.
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