Washington Wine Club – June 2007

2004 Buty, Rediviva of the Stones
This wine is what this club is about — we think it is one of the best Syrah-based wines ever made in our state. When you drink it, you may notice the stylistic similarities to Cayuse. No surprise, since Caleb and Nina Foster are buying property right next to Christophe Baron’s vineyards, on which they plan to grow the grapes for this wine and this wine only. All of the grapes in this vintage come from the same area, which Caleb describes as “the ancestral cobble-filled riverbed” of the Walla Walla River. It’s incredibly well-made, complex, and balanced, with excellent aging potential, and tremendous minerality. Give it at least five years, and then serve it with a family feast. There’s a tiny bit more at $45.00.

2004 Stevens, 424 Yakima Valley Red Wine
West Seattle Cellars is never quite the same after a visit by Woodinville winemaker Tim Stevens. New art appears on the walls above the Washington blends, and wonderful new wines appear in our Washington club. This is the second vintage of Tim’s elegant, balanced Bordeaux blend, sourced from three top Yakima Valley vineyards, Sheridan, Dineen and Ciel du Cheval. This year Tim added substantially more Cabernet Franc, providing more earthiness and beautiful violet floral notes to the wine. It’s a smooth blend, dominated by dark cocoa and black plum, a lovely match for roasted meats. Since it was only $29.75, Tim sold out of it in three hours at his winery, and there is no more to be had.

And the new art? This year Tim created the Dragon Ring label by playing with some winter prunings. Winding them into circles and stacking them up, he noticed the uncanny resemblance to a dragon’s head at the top of the ring. Other interpretations abound: open-mouthed crocodile, crown of thorns . . . In any case, we think it’s a beautiful image, worthy of this terrific wine.