Buena Vista Winery Reviews
Classic fruit flavors shine through in this well-structured, well-balanced, not-overly oaky or sweet-tasting wine. Hints of black olive and rosemary dress up the core of black cherries and blackberries while moderate tannins add a lip-smacking grip.
A blend from several vineyards, this includes some pinot meunier in a wine that’s bristling with floral fruit, one that continues to gain freshness over the course of several days. The blueberry and thyme flavors have clarity, perfumed with alcohol, needing age to integrate completely.
This deep, dusky wine tastes authentic and varietally true. It offers savory black olives and black pepper along with lots of black cherries and dark plums on a moderately tannic texture and full body. The wine’s concentration and balance are outstanding.
Sleek and reserved, with a gently polished edge to the core of damson plum, cherry paste and raspberry coulis flavors, all laced with hints of sandalwood and red tea. Shows a subtle mineral hint through the graceful finish. Drink now through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 400 cases made.
A floral nose of ripe red cherry, suede and ripe strawberry. Medium-to full-bodied with fine, silky tannins. Very juicy, with a mineral and herbal backbone that adds pleasant complexity. Drink or hold.
Inviting, peppery aromas of spiced cherry, crushed plum and cured meat. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Complex. An array of spice and herbs color the bed of red and black fruit. Meaty and savory with great intensity and depth. This needs time. Best after 2026.
The 2018 Pinot Noir Chateau Buena Vista has a medium ruby color and a nose of cranberry sauce, rhubarb and pomegranate with touches of tree bark, tangerine peel, violets, laurel and earth. The medium-bodied palate features amaro-driven fruits, a soft frame and great freshness with a spicy finish. 7,776 cases produced.
Blackcurrant, blackberry and walnut aromas with some wet earth. Medium to full body with round, creamy and firm tannins and a flavorful finish. Softness and focus to this young cab. Drink after 2024.
Ripe-berry and walnut aromas with cedar and spice, following through to a full body with creamy, polished tannins and a juicy finish. Dusty and firm at the end. Better in a year or two.
With ripe, tropical fruit aromas of kiwi, pear, lemon and wet slate, this is broad and mouthfilling with zippy acidity and a generous dollop of sweet, toasty oak and crushed almonds, finishing long with burnt caramel accents and a vein of minerality. Grapes from Herman, Thornton Ranch and Southern Sonoma were whole-cluster pressed, entirely barrel fermented and then aged in 10% new French oak for 10 months.
Strikes a wonderful balance between juicy, fresh fruit flavors and chewy, ripe tannins. Offering red licorice, maraschino cherry, dried herb and black tea notes, with spicy tobacco details lingering on the finish. Valdiguié, Charbono, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2030. 95 cases made. — MW
Made from 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petit Verdot and 11% Cabernet Franc, this blend comes in a heavy bottle with a giant gold alligator on it. Rich red fruit is sinewy and leathery in texture, with a ripe plushness that leans hot. Virginie Boone
This full-bodied, robust wine sports toasted oak and browned butter aromas followed by ripe Bosc pear and toasted almonds flavors on a rich, mouthfilling texture. It is big and well balanced, offering lots of flavor along with appetizing structure. -Jim Gordon
Scents of brandied cherries lend this wine its warm power, in the mode of Port without the sweetness. The firm tannins have a pleasant greenness, like raspberry leaves, keeping the finish clean. Serve with roast game. -J.G.
This wine explores the earthy intensity, providing volumes of flavor without weight. Delicate in fact, with the scent of coastal forests, tree bark and roots to ground its untamed beauty. Brian Maloney blends this wine with fruit from four vineyards in western Sonoma County, a selection that captures a clear impression of the coastal hills. -J.G.
This wine gains its concentration from 100-year-old vines at the Baldacci Vineyard. Its dark fruit has a comforting satin texture and feels cool - even at 15 percent alcohol - with forest floor notes of roots and earth against the warmer notes of nutmeg and allspice. Its umami complexities will work well with Middle Eastern dishes, particularly roast eggplant and lamb. -J.G.
This is the first vintage of this new label by Buena Vista, commemorating the year it was founded. The 2018 Red Wine 1857 is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Morris vineyard on Diamond Mountain, the Petit Verdot was harvested from the Larkmead vineyard in Calistoga, and the Cabernet Franc is from the Casa Nuestra vineyard in St. Helena. It was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. Very deep purple-black colored, it slowly unfurls to reveal fantastically fragrant notes of candied violets, star anise, clove oil and chocolate mints, over a core of crème de cassis, Black Forest cake and blueberry pie with hints of pencil shavings and fallen leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with rich, seductive black and blue fruit layers, framed by oh-so-plush tannins and a seamless line of freshness, finishing very long and perfumed. Only 50 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
Composed of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 The Founder is medium garnet-purple in color and beautifully scented of crushed blackberries and blackcurrants with nuances of menthol, lilacs, dark chocolate and cedar chest. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has elegantly played perfumed black fruits, with a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and layered.
Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Valdiguie gives up fragrant notes of violets, Chinese five spice and raisin cake with nuances of black tea, Sichuan pepper and tapenade. Full-bodied and laden with black berries and spice layers, it has a firm frame of chewy tannins and invigorating freshness, finishing with plenty of spring in its step.
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Zinfandel Arpad's Selection has a wonderfully fragrant nose of cherry compote, raspberry preserves and baked plums with suggestions of Chinese five spice, roses and underbrush. The palate is led by a taut structure of chewy tannins and crisp acid supporting the spicy baked berry flavors, finishing long and earthy.
The 2013 Syrah The Count’s Selection shows the bacon fat and dense blackberry and cassis fruit of Syrah, with a deep ruby/purple color, a lush medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, supple tannins, and is quite long, layered and rich. It should drink well for at least 10-12 years. It reminds me of a high-class Crozes-Hermitage from France.
The winery remains committed to French Colombard, honoring its heritage with this wine. Wet stone, apple and lemon distinguish it most, both in terms of aromatics and taste. Crisp and refreshing, it’s a fun wine to begin the night, served chilled and shared.
White pepper and matchstick come to the fore aromatically in this crisp white that’s fuller bodied on the palate than one would expect given the aromatics. Apple and pear give a complex, autumnal fruit presence that leads up to a ripe, creamy finish.