Expressive and lush nose of creamy berries, dark cherries, vanilla, cassis and sweet oak spices. Full body with fine, creamy tannins. Rich and full of generous creamy berries and an equally demonstrative and dense finish with excellent length. Better from 2025.
Buena Vista Winery Reviews
Aromas of ripe dark berries, grilled thyme, cured meat and dark spiced with some hints of cedar and moist earth. Full-bodied, deep and layered with firm, lightly chewy tannins. Powerful and persistent with a long finish. Better after 2025.
Blackcurrants, blackberries, walnuts and ground spices on the nose. A little earthy, too. Sleek and refined with medium to full body. Tannins are fine-grained and melted into the wine. Smooth and even with a lingering finish. Better from 2026.
A solid red with cherries, violets and earth on the nose and palate. Medium body with chewy tannins. Herbs and wild berries on the palate and a savory finish. Try after two to three years to soften the tannins.
The single-varietal 2020 Chardonnay is made entirely from Carneros Sonoma fruit. Baked apples, spicy pears, and honeydew melon jump from the glass with wafts of honeycomb and allspice. The medium to full-bodied palate has a creamy texture and is chock full of baked apples and pears layers, finishing with a lively lift.
The 2021 Private Reserve Chardonnay gives up decadent scents of allspice, pineapple upside-down cake, and ripe apricots plus hints of marzipan and honeysuckle. The full-bodied palate delivers a creamy texture and mouth-coating tropical and stone fruit flavors, finishing long and spicy.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2021 Private Reserve Pinot Noir charges out of the glass with rambunctious notes of Morello cherries, black raspberries, and mulberries leading to touches of rhubarb crumble, wild strawberries, and underbrush plus a hint of violets. The medium to full-bodied palate is bursting with electric red and black berry flavors, supported by fine-grained tannins and well-knit freshness, finishing long and minerally.
The 2021 The Founder Cabernet Sauvignon, with 1% Petit Verdot in the blend, is deep garnet-purple in color. It comes barreling out with bold notions of blackcurrant cordial, stewed plums, and blackberry pie giving way to nuances of graphite, crushed rocks, and camphor with a touch of lavender. The full-bodied palate is rich and dense yet beautifully juxtaposed by amazing tension and grainy tannins, finishing long and lively.
The 2019 The Sheriff of Buena Vista is composed of 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petite Sirah, 22% Syrah, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Grenache, 3% Mourvedre, and 2% Mission. Medium garnet-purple in color, it swaggers out of the glass with confident blueberry pie, warm cassis, and blackberry preserves scents, plus suggestions of Indian spices and tree bark with a touch of Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied, rich, spicy, and plush, the palate offers soft acidity and an earthy finish.
The 2019 Chateau Buena Vista Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, with 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot in the blend, is deep purple-black in color. It needs a little swirling to coax out notes of warm cassis, black cherry compote, and fresh juicy blackberries, followed by hints of charcoal, crushed rocks, and sassafras plus a waft of cracked black pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam packed with bright, black fruit layers, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2021 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon needs a little shaking and swirling to unlock notes of creme de cassis, blueberry compote, and juicy blackberries opening out to fragrant notes of candied violets, chocolate box, and menthol. The full-bodied palate has a fantastic backbone of freshness and firm, ripe, grainy tannins to support the muscular fruit, finishing long and energetic.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District is a little closed to start, unfurling to reveal notes of baked blackberries, blackcurrant jelly, and baker's chocolate with hints of star anise, crushed rocks, and tapenade. The full-bodied palate has a firm, finely grained texture and plenty of freshness to support the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and minerally. Nice!
The single-varietal 2020 Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville was picked prior to the Glass Fire. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls out of the glass with intense notes of juicy plums, baked blackcurrants, and chocolate-covered cherries plus wafts of dried mint, pencil lead, and dusty soil. The full-bodied palate has a chewy texture and bags of black fruit preserves flavors, finishing with a minty kick.
The 2021 Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena, with some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in the blend, is deep garnet-purple in color. It delivers evocative notes of blackcurrant jelly, kirsch, and mulberries followed by nuances of fallen leaves, cast-iron pan, cardamom, and pencil lead. The full-bodied palate is electric with crunchy black and red fruits, supported by a lively line and firm, grainy tannins, finishing with great length and a real skip in its step.
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.
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.
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
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.