Washington Wine Club – April 2011

2008 Buty, Rediviva of the Stones
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. In earlier incarnations this Syrah/Cab blend used grapes purchased from Christophe Baron, and you may notice a close stylistic similarity 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 in their Lefore Vineyard. (The Cabernet comes from the neighboring River Rock Vineyard.) As you might expect, the wine is incredibly well-made, clean, dense, and balanced, with excellent aging potential, and tremendous minerality. Give it two to five years, and then serve it with a family feast. As Caleb made only 365 cases, there are just a few more bottles available, although we do have a couple of bottles left of the 2007 vintage. Both are $55.

2006 Dumas Station, Cabernet Sauvignon
Since a Saturday tasting two years ago, Dumas Station has been one of the most popular new wineries in our shop. Jay and Doug DeWitt released their first commercial Cabernet from the 2003 vintage, and we have put the last three vintages in the Washington Club. The 2006 vintage features a lot of the blackberries and currants recognizable from their earlier releases, as well as the spiciness of the 2004, but it is by far the best structured and most food friendly of their wines so far, a great pairing for any big meaty dinner. Not a surprise, given that this vintage has 7% Petit Verdot blended in with the Cabernet. At a recent wine dinner, Jay paired it with a bison strip steak marinated in blackberry brandy sauce. It’s $32,and drinking beautifully now. We can still get a bit more of the 400 cases that Jay produced.