From Seattle magazine’s annual Best Washington Wines issue:
Red Wine of the Year
BETZ FAMILY WINERY 2009 PÈRE DE FAMILLE CABERNET SAUVIGNON, RED MOUNTAIN, $65
Last year, Bob and Cathy Betz sold their winery, although Bob will continue to consult on winemaking. This wine tastes of old vines: The Cabernet Sauvignon (82 percent) comes from the 1973 block of Red Willow Vineyard with a bit of Petit Verdot (10 percent) and Merlot (8 percent) “for fleshiness.” The ultimate expression of Betz’s commitment to quality and integrity, this rich but balanced red shows aromas of cassis and smoke, sassafras and toast, with firm tannins balanced by ripe fruit for a seamless, lingering finish.
White Wine of the Year
DOWSETT FAMILY 2010 CELILO VINEYARD GEWÜRZTRAMINER, COLUMBIA GORGE, $22
From one of the older vineyards in the state, on the banks of the Columbia River, this beautiful Gewürztraminer has the classic dynamic aromatics of white spicy blossoms and lychee. Chris Dowsett, also the cowinemaker for Buty Winery, says he only makes wines he loves, and we can see why he loves this one. At the same time sweet smelling and dry on the palate, this lush but bright white wine, bursting with starfruit and tiger lily aromas and ripe pear and lychee flavors, is truly special.