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Buena Vista Winery Reviews

Score: 91 | July 9, 2021 | Decanter

Ripe, tropical fruit notes of kiwi, pear, lemon and wet slate. This is broad and mouth-filling with zippy, acidity and a generous dollop of sweet, toasty oak and crushed almonds. It finishes long with burnt caramel and a vein of minerality. 

Score: 91 | July 1, 2021 | Wine Enthusiast

Opening in divine aromatics of orange peel and raspberry, this cool-climate wine shows a length of brightness and fres acidity amidst a full-bodied style and approach. Ample tannin and oak accentuate its earthier heartier side. -Virginie Boone

Score: 92 | July 1, 2021 | Wine Enthusiast

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

Score: 89 | June 1, 2021 | Wine & Spirits

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.

Score: 93 | June 1, 2021 | The Wine Guy

Dense purple-black in colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose tinged with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, richly extracted and concentrated flavours of ripe blackberry and blackcurrant with well-integrated oak; firmly structured and muscular with soft tannins. Lovely mouth-feel. -Tony Aspler

Score: GOLD | May 7, 2021 | Vinordic 2021
Score: BRONZE | May 7, 2021 | Vinordic 2021
Score: 93 | April 21, 2021 | Wine & Spirits

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.

Score: 93 | April 1, 2021 | Wine & Spirits

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.

Score: 98 | March 18, 2021 | Wine Advocate

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

Score: 90 | January 22, 2021 | Wine Spectator

This has a lively medley of loganberry and black currant fruit mixed with sassafras, anise and sage notes before ending with a kick of briar on the finish. Nice range and energy throughout. Drink now through 2022. 415 cases made. — JM

Score: 90 | October 1, 2020 | Wine Enthusiast

Nutty and robust, this wine is well structured within its fleshy, oak-driven profile of full-bodied concentration and intensity. Pineapple and mango dominate with a thread of salinity peeking through the finish. -Virginie Boone

Score: 91 | July 1, 2020 | Wine Enthusiast

Quite complex and intricate in flavor, this full-bodied wine adds savory, herbaceous nuances to a broad and rich plum core. The texture is smooth and plush, giving an expansive mouthfeel and lingering finish. JIM GORDON

Score: 92+ | May 21, 2020 |

The flagship 2018 Pinot Noir Private Reserve comes from a handful of sites in Sonoma County and spent 15 months in 30% new French oak. This expressive, complex effort offers loads of spiced red and blackberry fruit tones as well as bay leaf, sagebrush, and flowery incense aromatics. Medium-bodied, tight and slightly streamlined, it's beautifully balanced and has good acidity and tannins, solid mid-palate depth, and an outstanding finish. It's going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and should have a solid evolution over the following decade.

Score: 91 | May 21, 2020 |

Based on 33% Cabernet Sauvignon,19% Petite Sirah, 15% Syrah, and the rest Grenache, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre, Merlot, and Mission, the 2018 The Sheriff Of Buena Vista spent 10 months in a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak. It's a wonderfully fruit-forward, almost Zinfandel-like red with perfumed blackberry and kirsch fruits, lots of spice, brambly herbs, and floral notes, medium-bodied richness, and a silky, polished, elegant texture. It's undeniably delicious and will drink well for 4-6 years at a minimum.

Score: 91 | May 21, 2020 |

The 2017 Pinot Noir Bela's Selection is the Russian River Valley release in the lineup, and it spent 14 months in 50% new French oak, a fair amount more than the other Pinot Noirs here. It handles it nicely, though, and offers up lots of blackberry and mulberry fruits as well as medium-bodied richness, a bright line of acidity, ripe tannins, and classic Pinot Noir spice and dried flower-like aromas and flavors. It's a balanced, elegant Russian River Pinot Noir to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.

Score: 93 | May 18, 2020 |

Thin-skinned zin grown in rocky, red volcanic soils produced this delicately structured, intensely concentrated wine. It has the complexity that old vines can give, and though it clocks in at 16 percent alcohol, it’s not at all boozy, just luscious and wild. It tastes like fresh fruit—of juicy black cherries, cranberries and red apple skin—even as it tastes completely vinous. 

Score: Double Gold | February 4, 2020 | American Fine Wine Competition
Score: Double Gold | February 4, 2020 | American Fine Wine Competition
Score: 90 | December 19, 2019 | Wine Advocate

Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2016 Zinfandel Attila's Selection is closed on the nose, giving glimpses at sliced peach, blackberry jam, garrigue, scorched earth, wet bark, citrus peel and dried flowers. The palate is light to medium-bodied with fragrant fruits and soft, grainy tannins, finishing spicy and fresh.

Score: 90 | December 19, 2019 | Wine Advocate

Pale to medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Otelia's Selection is scented of cola, woodsmoke, cranberry, rhubarb and warm raspberries with touches of dusty earth, black tea leaves and underbrush. Light to medium-bodied, it's softly textured by grainy tannins and juicy freshness, finishing earthy.

Score: 93 | December 19, 2019 | Wine Advocate

Medium to deep ruby, the 2016 The Founder has a pretty nose of blackcurrant bud, bay leaf, graphite, blackcurrant and black cherry with cedar shavings, bitter chocolate and vanilla hints. Medium to full-bodied, it gives up lush, mineral-tinged black and red fruits with a firm but plush frame and great freshness to lift the long, minerally finish. Very classy. 

Score: Gold | November 26, 2019 | Houston Rodeo Wine Competition
Score: 90+ | June 14, 2019 |

Lastly, the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Private Reserve (aged 19 months in 68% new French oak) offers an outstanding bouquet of cedarwood, black fruits, currants, and earth. With medium to full body, ripe tannins, and good overall elegance, it’s approachable today yet will benefit from short term cellaring and cruise for 10-15 years.

Score: 91 | June 14, 2019 |

The 2017 Chardonnay Jovita's saw a native fermentation in barrel followed by 14 months in 35% new French oak. It has a classic bouquet of crushed citrus, toasted oak, white flowers, and hints of minerality as well as a medium to full-bodied, rounded, supple, balanced style on the palate. This is a classic, balanced, beautifully textured Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast that’s well worth seeking out.

Score: gold | June 5, 2019 | Sunset International Wine Competition
Score: Best of Show | June 5, 2019 | Sunset International Wine Competition
Score: 92 | April 30, 2019 | Wine Advocate

The 2016 Chardonnay Natalia's Selection has a nose of crème fraîche, chalk, lemon pith, almonds, yellow apple and toast. Medium-bodied, it offers a great creamy texture and concentrated savory fruit, with refreshing acidity and a long, creamy-textured finish.

Score: 91 | June 29, 2018 | Wine Advocate

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.

Score: Gold, 91 Points | April 3, 2018 | San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge
Score: Gold | February 15, 2018 | Sakura Japan Women's Wine Awards 2018
Score: Gold | February 17, 2017 | Sakura Japan Women's Wine Awards 2017
Score: 90 | March 4, 2016 | Wine Advocate

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.

Score: 93 | March 4, 2016 | Wine Advocate

The 2013 Proprietary Red The Aristocrat from Napa has a beautiful nose of crème de cassis, licorice and floral notes. It is full-bodied with sweet tannin, a multilayered mouthfeel and impressive texture and length. This is a beauty and, while accessible already, should age effortlessly for 15-20 or more years.

Score: 88 | January 21, 2016 | Wine Align
June 11, 2015 | Orange County Fair


June 11, 2015 | Orange County Fair


Score: 88 | April 1, 2015 | Wine Enthusiast

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.

- V.B. 

Score: Silver | February 9, 2015 | American Fine Wine Competition
Score: 90 | February 1, 2015 | Wine Enthusiast

Editors' Choice 

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. 

- V.B.

Score: Silver | January 12, 2015 | San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Score: 4+ Stars | June 1, 2013 | Restaurant Wine
Screw cap. Great value: full bodied and zesty in style, this is a fresh, crisp Sauvignon with good balance and a long finish, tasting of lime, lemon grass, grapefruit, and green apple