Buty 2011 Merlot-Cabernet Franc (Columbia Valley (WA))

Sourced from the Conner Lee vineyard, this reflects the cool, difficult vintage, with a preponderance of herbal flavors. Cabernet Franc is given to showing an earthy, woodsy character in any event, and here it seems to rule. Highlights of baking spices, from aging 15 months in one-third new French oak, add flavor interest. With extensive breathing, the black cherry fruit comes up nicely. It should benefit from additional bottle age. Paul Gregutt

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