2014 Buty Winery, Rockgarden Estate Mourvèdre, $48
Winery info: Buty made its debut with the 2000 vintage and quickly earned a reputation as one of the most respected wineries in the state thanks to their talent, experience, and the assistance of legendary consulting winemaker, Zelma Long. With their ongoing focus on quality and detail they continue to produce wines of remarkable nuance, depth, and balance, vintage after vintage.
Winemaker: Chris Dowsett, who grew up in a winemaking family in Oregon and worked in Australia, California, and Walla Walla before joining Buty. He also has his own label, Dowsett Family Winery.
Grapes: 75% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 5% Grenache
Vineyard source: Buty’s organic-certified Rockgarden Estate in the highest part of The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. The region earned official AVA status in 2015 and is named for the basalt cobblestone-strewn soil, similar to that found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It has proven to be ideal terroir for grape growing, especially Rhône varietals, producing silky, savory, well-structured wines.
Flavor profile: Buty’s Rockgarden Estate produces a very expressive Mourvèdre, with classic meaty, minerally notes and flavors of plum and spice. The Grenache and Syrah add bright, juicy flavors to this complex, layered blend.
Production/Availability: 123 cases made. There is still some available.
Drinkability: You could enjoy this one now, or lay it down for six years or so, up to around 2025.
Food Pairing: Pair with umami-rich pork shoulder with Puy lentils, wild rice and shiitake mushrooms.
2014 Sineann, Cabernet Sauvignon, $35
Winery info: Sineann was founded in 1994 in Newberg, Oregon by Peter Rosback and David O’Reilly (who later moved on to make wines under his Owen Roe label). It remains a small winery, focused on grapes from the top vineyards in the region, mostly single-vineyard designate wines. While Peter began with an emphasis on Pinot Noir, he has broadened his line-up over the years to include other varietals and vineyards throughout the Pacific Northwest—hence this Washington Cab.
Winemaker: Peter Rosback
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard source: Champoux and Phinny Hill vineyards, just across the road from each other in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Champoux has some of the oldest Cab plantings in the state.
Flavor profile: Dark, complex and beautifully balanced, with great structure and depth without being overpowering. Peter says this is the sleeper of his 2014 Cabs. “The others are gorgeous; this one is similar and a great value!”
Production/Availability: This wine is still in decent supply.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime over the next three to five years.
Food Pairing: Great with braised short ribs, pepper steak, lamb, or mushroom risotto.