Two from Beast (Buty)

Hello friends. Over the years, I have received a number of requests for Caleb Foster’s Beast wines, none of which I could fulfill. The Beast, I had to reply, was winery-only.

Until now.

Recently, Caleb has begun to allow outside access to the Beast. The alter ego to the tightly-focused Buty portfolio, Beast is where Caleb can be more playful, more experimental. The wines are generally released a bit younger than the Buty lineup, and they tend to be incredible values: gateways into the broader Buty lineup, chances to dip toes into the Buty water at compelling tariffs.

2009 Beast (Buty) “Wildebeest” (Cab-Syrah)

The backbone of this Syrah (45%)-Cab (40%)-Malbec (15%) blend is the outstanding Phinny Hill Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, and getting to taste Phinny fruit at this tariff is a rare treat indeed.

I’m not sure I have tasted a more openly delicious wine this year, and certainly not at an under-$30 tag. Deep and rich, with pillowy-soft mouthfeel, this combines blackcurrant fruit from the Cab with blueberry and olive from the Syrah. It’s ripe and well-balanced, not a wine that requires acres of aging, but instead one that offers untold glories for those of us looking for immediate gratification. For me, this tastes like something twice as expensive.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($25); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”

2010 Beast (Buty) Riesling “Sphinx” Wallula Vineyard

We all know the two whites that Caleb makes for Buty: a Chardonnay and a Semillon/Sauvignon/Muscadelle blend. But like most Washington winemakers who care about great white wines, Caleb heard the siren call of Riesling.

What he has produced here is a singular Washington Riesling, the driest version I have tasted to date. It comes entirely from the biodynamically-farmed section of Wallula Vineyard, and it is a nervous mouthful of acid and mineral. For those of us who love the bone-dry style of Austrian Rieslings, this is a wine to cherish, full of intensity and citric vigor.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($25); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

First come first served up to 12 bottles of each, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.

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