2005 Betz "Père de Famille" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1133447 97 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* The fragrance is almost otherworldly; sweet, dense and lightly lifted. This is a sinewy wine, that begins with compact power and focused, tart red fruits—predominantly raspberry and currant. At first juicy and tart, with hours of breathing time the wine broadens out into a wider spectrum of Cabernet fruits; cassis, blackberry, and black cherry.  (8/2008)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I had a chance to retaste the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille. Last year I though the wine was a bit compressed but that time would likely round it out. One year later the wine has blossomed and appears headed for a promising future. Betz Family Winery, run impeccably by Bob Betz, MW, remains a Washington benchmark for top quality Syrah and Bordeaux blends. With his connections from decades of service at Chateau Ste-Michelle, Betz is able to purchase choice fruit from some of the state’s finest vineyards including Boushey, Red Willow, Ciel du Cheval, Alder Ridge, Kiona, and Klipsun. Regarding the 2006 vintage, Betz says, “I took a long time to warm up to the vintage, but the wines have come on strong.” (JM)  (6/2008)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec) Good deep, bright ruby-red. Sappy aromas of crushed blackberry, licorice, minerals, and spices. Wonderfully sweet but less pliant and open today than the Clos de Betz; more affected by the bottling. With aeration, this showed subtle cabernet notes of cassis, Belgian chocolate and fresh herbs. This dense, thick wine boasts outstanding structure and dimension, and finishes with terrific persistence. Betz used his highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon to date in this wine, and the lowest amount of Merlot. 93+ (ST)  (11/2007)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Smooth, open-textured and generous with its currant and blackberry fruit, gliding easily over a bed of polished tannins as the flavors linger against haunting hints of cream and coffee.  (6/2008)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Steering ever so slightly to herbs, dusty earth and a bit of pencil-box spice and away from immediate fruit, this deep and quietly complex effort conveys a sense of refinement and claret-like grace while hinting at potency at the same time. Its seeming reserve holds it in good stead for development, and we would not be at all surprised to see it improve for upwards of a decade or more.  (12/2008)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 This mostly Cabernet, mostly Red Mountain red leads with initial scents of dark, smoky oak-the wine's power is palpable in the aroma alone. The flavor doesn't disappoint: it's as dense as flourless chocolate cake, with a core of blackberry fruit. A big wine, it needs a big accompaniment, like roast lamb.  (10/2008)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.