2009 Betz "Père de Famille" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* A portion of the Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from vines planted in 1973, with additions of 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. It's an exceptionally fine-tuned blend, with pinpoint fruit flavors, sappy acids and complementary barrel notes. The classic structure, which is the hallmark of all Betz wines, suggests a long life ahead.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
More sweetly ripe and expansive if less energetic and slightly grainier than its 2010 counterpart, the Betz 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille incorporates what, for this blend, is a very typical 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. A pungent bite of juniper berry offers some counterpoint to creme de cassis and mocha on a darkly rich mid-palate, leading to a long, sappy finish. Tannin is never far from the surface here even though that surface is almost thickly mouth-coating. Where the 2010 had me reaching for musical metaphors to express its dynamic personality, the analogy here is to the plastic arts, and the wine seems to have monumental potential. It will be interesting, though, to see whether further complexity and flavor definition emerge with time in bottle and the tannin smoothly integrates. How long this might take, I won’t speculate, as my experience of mature Betz wine from Bordelais varieties is thus far (though I hope not for too much longer!) fleeting and inconclusive. (DS)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot): Bright ruby red. Cassis, crushed blackberry and violet on the nose. Intensely flavored and juicy, with terrific cut and lift to the flavors of blackberry and licorice. Boasts plenty of acidity but there's nothing hard about this cabernet. Finishes quite tight, though, with firm, peppery tannins that call for at least six or seven years of bottling aging. 93+ (ST)
This densely packed red is focused and distinctive for its tarry roasted meat overtones around a core of black cherry and berry flavors, pushing against the tempered tannins on the long, vivid finish.