Washington Wine Club – April 2010

Buty Winery Spring Releases
We have always been fans of Buty, so it’s no surprise that their limited wines have been featured regularly in this club for years. While it is still a relatively young winery—Caleb Foster and Nina Buty-Foster started Buty in 2000—it has achieved much respect and acclaim in a short time, thanks to Caleb and Nina’s abundant talent and hard work. Their wines are now sought after throughout the country and their new releases have received quite a bit of attention from the national wine press.

2007 Rediviva of the Stones, Walla Walla Valley
In earlier incarnations this Syrah/Cab blend used grapes purchased from Christophe Baron, and you may notice some stylistic similarities to his wines. A few years ago, Caleb and Nina bought property adjacent to Christophe’s vineyards, where they planted the Tablas Creek clone of Syrah on the cobblestones of the ancestral Walla Walla riverbed. As you might expect, the wine is incredibly well-made, clean, dense, and balanced, with excellent aging potential, and tremendous minerality. As Paul Gregutt noted on his blog, it “strikes a perfect balance among fruit, earth, and rock.” Give it at least five years, and then serve it with a family feast. As Caleb made only 360 cases, there are only a few more bottles available, at $55.

2008 Merlot/Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley
Compared to past vintages, this year’s version of the Merlot/Cab Franc has quite a bit more Merlot, giving it more of the feel of a Right Bank Bordeaux. Most of the fruit for this wine comes from the sandy soils of Connor Lee Vineyard, with some of the Cabernet Franc sourced from Champoux Vineyard, 70 miles to the south in the Horse Heaven Hills. The longer growing season there helps ripen the fruit further, resulting in a rich, elegant wine that would pair perfectly with grilled meat, lamb, or pork. This year’s edition is a bit more brambly than in past years, with interesting notes of earth, graphite and green coffee. It’s even more limited than the Rediviva of the Stones, as only about 250 cases were made. As 2008 was a cooler vintage, we suggest you put it away for a couple more years. It’s $36 and we have a tiny amount left. Since these great wines ran a little over the usual price limit for the club, we charged them at $80 even, giving club members a 12% discount. Enjoy!