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Buty Conner Lee Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2017

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2016 vintage notes

My favorite vintage of Buty’s Conner Lee Vineyard flagship, the 2016 is an absolute joy to drink. There’s a comforting, alluring quality to aromas and flavors—crushed red berries, cinnamon, spicy ginger spice and sweet cream, along with luscious flavors of concentrated red fruits and cocoa powder, plus an exotic floral note. This dynamic and elegantly flowing wine shows why Conner Lee is considered one of Washington’s greatest vineyards. 

Because 2016 was a particularly spectacular Cabernet Franc vintage at Conner Lee, this gorgeous wine includes the highest percentage of Cab Franc in more than a decade. - Marcus

2015 vintage notes

93 points Wine Spectator: "Expressive and well-built, with red currant and mocha aromas leading to a structured core wrapped in supple black cherry and spice flavors that linger on the long finish."

“We have been making single-vineyard wines from Conner Lee Vineyard for over 15 years. Our relationship with this remarkable winegrowing site runs about as deep as possible without having planted the vines ourselves. I knew I wanted to work with grapes from Conner Lee Vineyard long before we ever made our first bottle of wine. Even back then, Conner Lee was considered one of Washington State’s greatest vineyards. In the years since, this reputation has only grown, which has been exciting to see and be a part of.

We made our first Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay in our debut 2000 vintage. The following year, we used Conner Lee’s Merlot and Cabernet Franc in our 2001 Buty Merlot & Cabernet Franc. Grapes from Conner Lee have been pivotal to this wine ever since, and in 2011 our Merlot & Cabernet Franc became a Conner Lee vineyard-designate, which is something we are very proud of.

Originally planted in the early 1980s, Conner Lee is located at an elevation of approximately 2,000 feet, on the plateau of Radar Hill south of Othello, Washington. It’s a cool vineyard in a warm, sunny region, which makes it ideal for our style of winemaking. In its Eastern Washington desert environment, the spring and fall nights can be 50 degrees cooler than the daytime temperatures. The hot summer ripens the fruit, while the diurnal swings and the cooler late-season temperatures keep the acids high and the pH low.

Conner Lee’s Cabernet Franc was planted in 1991, with the Merlot planted the following year. While the site is perfect for these varieties, the human team is equally important. It is farmed for the Conner and Lee families by Jerry Bookwalter (of Bookwalter Winery) and Tom Thorsen. The attention to detail at Conner Lee in pruning, canopy design and thinning is second to none, resulting in exceptional fruit year after year." - Nina Buty

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If you haven't found a full case (12 bottles) to buy today, start your Build a Case now by purchasing a few bottles online, by phone or email. If you order online, select the Build a Case option. If by phone or email, just ask us to add the bottles to a Build a Case for you. You'll receive order confirmation and we'll cellar the wines for you at no charge.

Add to your case whenever you see wines you can't resist. Each time you add to your Build a Case, you'll be charged the discounted price.

When you complete your case, we'll apply a shipping rate and contact you to schedule your case for shipment.

Because of finite space in our warehouse, we kindly ask that you complete your Build a Case within six months. Please email or call us with any questions.