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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Okay, first up for New Year's Eve is the 2003 Betz Pierre de Famille. Below is what Mr. Betz has to say about this vintage.


2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Përe de Famille

Cabernet Sauvignon dominates this vintage in more than percentages would indicate: color, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel all identify this wine as Cabernet Sauvignon (77%). While it blends four of the classic Bordeaux varieties (Merlot 13%, Malbec 8% and Petit Verdot 3%) it still shouts Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Cabernet fraction is predominantly from Red Mountain, from the Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun Vineyards' rows that we have used for most all the past vintages. Their power and depth contributions are unmistakable. They also provide the tannic spine essential for our goals for this wine. Their muscular ways are tamed by a fraction of the Cabernet that comes from the Alder Ridge Vineyard, located in the Horse Heaven Hills: it provides length and complexity.

While the other two varieties are minor players, their contribution is distinctive: Malbec adding juiciness, and the Petit Verdot, with its black skin, adds color and a spicy/peppery fragrance.

Red Mountain depth dominates the blend of all varieties at 68%, followed by 24% from the Horse Heaven Hills and 8% from the Yakima Valley. And it shows. In the glass, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon has an opaque black/red core. A huge currant, black cherry aroma emerges, carrying along spice, minerals and leather. It's thick and rich, with plenty of youthful tannin, yet finishes with a ripe lushness and sweet black cherry, tobacco flavor. It evolves as it opens in the glass, a sign for this taster that it has years of evolution ahead of it in the cellar.

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