Wine Region: Washington, USA
Grape: Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon
2013: In the glass, the 2013 Clos de Betz displays a deep ruby hue, but the real excitement begins with the aromatics: black cherry, damson plum, and cocoa bean lead the charge, while leather, tobacco, sage, and truffle all show up with time in the glass. The palate offers merlot’s weight and density, yet faithfully expresses the freshness and detail of the vintage. This is further enhanced by the highest percentage ever of Petit Verdot in this blend: dried thyme and pencil lead nuances add stunning complexity. This vintage of Clos de Betz reminds me of a classic, warmer, Right Bank wine, with both readiness and structure, and notable cellaring capacity. Blend: 63% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
2011: This 2011, with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, certainly has the vitality and structure to go the distance. During future cellaring, look for emerging aromas of cherry, dark plum and cocoa powder, while the palate softens to a harmonious, creamy texture. Blend: 67% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot
Robert Parker 94 pts - The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years.
Wine Spectator 92 pts - Firm in texture, featuring peppery overtones to the black cherry and raspberry fruit. Medium-weight, with the flavors gliding against the nubby finish and lingering well. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Best from 2017 through 2022.
Wine Enthusiast 91 pts - This wine is a blend of Merlot (63%), a whopping 22% Petit Verdot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of smoke, cedar, dried herbs, licorice, pencil lead, crushed flowers and red and black berries are followed by soft, plump fruit flavors. It brings an undeniable warm vintage appeal but with a compelling sense of elegance and balance.
Wine & Spirits 90 pts - There’s an old-school feel to the oak treatment and structure in this cabernet-heavy blend. The wine’s oak imprint slips between cedar, caramel and espresso tones above its dark fruit-skin flavors. Cellar this to let the fruit catch up to the structure. (1,027 cases)
Wine Enthusiast 93 pts - A fine effort in this cool vintage, this Merlot-dominated Bordeaux-style blend is aromatically arresting, with complex flower and herb scents suggesting appealing delicacy. It delivers that in a focused, wine with pretty berry and chocolate flavors.
Robert Parker 91 pts - The 2011 Clos de Betz shows the vintage profile with its mid-weight, lively and overall fresh feel. Black currants, spring flowers, mint and hints of lead pencil and cedar flow from the glass and this medium-bodied, lively and balanced red has bright acidity that’s balanced by good concentration and depth. Give it another 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2023.
Wine Spectator 90 pts - This lighter style wraps fine tannins around a vibrant core of raspberry, cherry, tobacco and spice, lingering with finesse on the refined finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
About the Winery
Since the first vintage in 1997 they’ve had a single minded goal of crafting compelling wines with individual character that are approachable and ageworthy, and which showcase Washington as a distinguished wine region of the world. By carving out specific vineyard blocks and being meticulous in the vineyard and cellar they are able to achieve the quality they aspire to. As importantly over the years their winery culture has become a way of life in which everyone – the growers, winery team and customers are family.
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