What: Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $57
Why: Cellaring and opening aged bottles of wine can be a rewarding experience. However, not all wines are meant to age. For example, that mediocre $8 bottle of merlot isn’t going to magically get better after a few years of sitting on top of the fridge. Rather, it takes a special combination of fruit, acid, and tannin to allow a wine to age gracefully.
An outstanding example of a wine well worth stashing away in the cellar is the 2012 Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz Red Wine Columbia Valley ($65). This wine is two-thirds merlot with the balance cabernet sauvignon and a pinch of petit verdot. It offers a complex array of aromas from incense to bay leaf to red and black fruit. The flavors are layered, displaying richness but also an exquisite sense of balance. It drinks beautifully out of the gate but really hits its stride after a couple days open, which bodes well for its longevity. Buy a bottle and plan on opening it up at the end of this decade or even in the middle of the next. Your patience will be rewarded.