Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. Although the winery was recently sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), I expect quality will remain high for years to come.
Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Spring welcomes their Bordeaux Blends, and the Fall for their Syrah-based wines. Located South of the School House district in Woodinville, Betz release parties draw such large crowds that Woodinville Fire and King County Sheriff employees are hired to direct traffic.
This Fall there were four wines released – three 100% Syrah and the fourth a Chateauneuf du Pape-inspired Southern Rhone Blend.
2010 Betz Family Bésoleil – 65% Grenache, 18% Mourvedre, 11% Cinsault, 6% Syrah. Raspberries, kirsch, pepper and plums. Dusty tannins and a long finish. Getting closer to a “domestic CdP” but not quite there yet. I have a slight preference for the 09 Bésoleil. 91 points.
2010 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne – 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyard. Savory, gamey, meat, olives, plums and raspberries. The most approachable in the trio of Syrahs. 91 points.
2010 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Patriarche – 100% Syrah from the Red Willow Vineyard. Red fruits, scorched earth, grilled meats, anise & smoke. 93 points.
2010 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Rousse – 100% Syrah. Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road Vineyards. Dense red fruits, smoke, ash, marinated meats, blood, iodine, band aid. The wine is just packed and needs a ton of time. This stole the show and even out-shined the La Côte Patriarche. 96 points.
Tasting and evaluating wine at release parties can be a challenge. You typically get small pours and have just a few minutes to formulate an opinion. That said the Betz lineup is better than ever. I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. Be warned though – it may disappear quickly after wine publications publish their scores.
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