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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will remain high for years to come.
Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Spring welcomes Bordeaux Blends, and the Fall the 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.
We attended the Spring release party this past Saturday, a stunning early Spring afternoon. 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.
Here are my initial impressions on the new releases:
2010 Betz Family Père de Famille – 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Almost black in color. Brooding red fruits. Layers of graphite, leather, chocolate, currant and cassis. The wine, though approachable now, finishes with a wall of tannins. This will age easily for at least a decade. $68 at the winery. My rating: 93 points.
2010 Clos de Betz – 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot. Purple in color. Lush and charming. Blackberries, cherry, anise, herbs and a hint of vanilla. The finish, once again, bodes well for a wine that will age for years to come. A super sexy wine that for the first time in recent memory overshadowed the Père de Famille. $55 at the winery. My rating: 95 points.
We had the opportunity to visit with Steve Griessel briefly and his passion for the winery is inspiring. He gave us a heads up that 30 cases of “true” Rosé will be released later in the Spring to local members of the mailing list. With such small quantities you’ll need to act fast!
Steve also shared that Bob has made a barrel of Port-style wine out of Washington Syrah. There are no definitive plans for this wine yet, but I’m certainly intrigued.
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. Both of these new releases are worth searching for.
If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.