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 four years ago. Bob Betz is still the Winemaker and from what I hear Louis Skinner is setting the bar high as the Assistant Winemaker.
Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Winter welcomes Bordeaux Blends, and Fall the Syrah-based wines. Located south of the Schoolhouse 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 winter release party this past Sunday. Per usual Steve made himself available all afternoon to mingle with visitors.
Here are my initial impressions on the new releases:
- 2012 Betz Family Clos de Betz – 67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. Opaque purple in color. Not showing much on the nose today. Cherries, plums, tobacco and cassis on the palate. Substantial tannins on a long finish. This will drink well for at least a decade. My rating: 91 points.
- 2012 Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille – 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Pitch black in color. Cherry, anise, flowers, leather and pencil. Great structure and concentration. Dusty, gritty tannins. This wine has a long life ahead of it. My rating: 95 points.
For the second year in a row the Père de Famille stole the show. My wife and I had the opportunity to catch up with Steve for 10 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Betz might bottle a Syrah from the newly established Rocks District. Steve’s passion is contagious. Rest assured the winery is in good hands.
I’ve been buying the Betz wines for a decade now. I can’t emphasize enough that the entire lineup needs extended time in the cellar.
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.
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