Buty Winery 2013 Phinny Hill Vineyard Columbia Rediviva Red Wine, Horse Heaven Hills, $50
Chris Dowsett could offer this proprietary red blend as “Cabernet Sauvignon” for founder Nina Buty, even though he continues to use Syrah (15%) — just the variety — to flesh out this. And it was the Syrah that was harvested first from the Beightol family’s prized vineyard near Champoux Vineyard during the first week in October. The Cab came in a week later. Both lots went back to Walla Walla, where they were later aged for 20 months in French oak barrels, a third of them new. There’s no doubting the role of the Cab, explained with the aromas of cherry jam and dark plum with chocolate-covered blueberries, rose petal and cedar. On the attack, there’s a lush approach with rich flavors of cherries and currant as the influence of the Syrah shows by softening the tannin structure. There’s late grip, but that comes in the finish dominated by raspberry. Buty claims to be the first in Washington state to blend Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah into high-end reds. And their two examples using the 2013 vintage — one from its estate vineyard in The Rocks of Milton-Freewater and this — are equally stunning.
Production: 375 cases