what i’m drinking this memorial day

Monday, May 27, 2013

I’m taking a busman’s holiday today, but thought I’d post up a thought or two on what I’m drinking (for starters!).

As I continue to re-organize and revisit my wine cellar, following the move from Seattle to Waitsburg a year ago, I have found, to my delight, that the 2006 reds from Washington have really turned out to be a top notch group. Upon release about four years ago, these wines were a tough, somewhat surly bunch. Tannins were thick and hard, aromatics bottled up tight, and the fruit compact and difficult to untangle. Nonetheless, there were some standouts.

My Wine Enthusiast review of the Betz 2006 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon garnered 96 points, and generous praise. “This is supple, toasty, young and tight. The tannins are hard, with earth and stem, but the fruit is concentrated, pure and evocative, with earthy flavors that add notes of soil, spice and mineral. Already drinking beautifully, this is a supple, fruity, grapey and vinous wine, balanced and graceful. It’s difficult to find any rough edges at this point in time; it’s delicious, though quite young. The most complex of all the Betz blends, the fruits unfold in a rich panoply of reds and blues; the tannins are rich and chewy, but polished and complex.”

The blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and2% Malbec, and the wine’s initial retail was $58.

A second note, from a re-taste a year or so later, reads that it is “a taut, muscular, manly wine expressive of (almost) pure, great Cabernet Sauvignon. 80% Red Mountain fruit, showing exemplary back of the palate grip and concentration, with all the big fruit flavors – plum, cassis, licorice, chocolate, mocha and so on.”

As I retasted it for a third time this Sunday, I noted that the wine is still youthful, but beautifully expressive, muscular, full and long. Gorgeous fruit set in a frame of dust, cocoa, vanilla, cacao and cinnamon spice. Nothing overblown, all in proportion. And I’d keep the score exactly where I had it.

Is it at its peak? Is this the “optimal” time to drink it? Who knows! It’s a great time to drink it, that’s for certain, and I’ll be finishing the bottle later today.

Happy Memorial Day everyone. May all your beverages be as good as this one.



Chris Wallace said...

Nice drink! I have found Betz' wines to be some of the State's most long-lived. Last year I had a 2000 Pere de Famille which was very good and indicating it could go further. My tastes lean toward older wines generally, but if a wine is ready to go, why wait?

Unknown said...

I popped this same wine at a group wine event a few months back and it was just singing right from the get-go. Thanks for affirming my suspicions.

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