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Clos de Betz

Clos de Betz Wine Details

Description: We shifted the Clos de Betz vineyard and variety mix a bit in 2002, and increased its hedonistic personality. There’s more Merlot (57%) than the past two vintages, and it shows in the plum, black cherry and bittersweet chocolate notes in both aroma and flavor. Also, we replaced the Walla Walla Merlot that we used to have with older vine Merlot from the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain. We were able to carve out an entire acre of 1974 planted vines from this classic vineyard. These 30 year old vines are producing Merlot as fine as any in America: complex, rich and silky. Over the past few decades I’ve come to appreciate the contribution older vines can make to wine quality, especially when grown under the eye of veteran Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval.

Varietal Definition
Merlot is known as a Noble Bordeaux varietal. Although it came to France in the first century, it was not named until the 1880s. Merlot was originally used only for blending, as it is soft and compliant, very useful in softening other Bordeaux wines like Cabernets. Recently in California and Chile it became popular as a 100% varietal wine. Merlot tends to be easier to grow in a variety of soil conditions and is harvested earlier in the year than Cabernet. Although most Merlots are made to be drunk earlier, there are many with complexities of a Cabernet. Flavors of plum, black cherry, violet, chocolate and orange pair well with rich, red pasta dishes, hearty chicken dishes, and any beef combination that you fancy. The perfect match of course is chocolate. Not only does the chocolate compliment the wine and vice-versa, but the essence of both flavors linger eternally.


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