Monday, January 13, 2020

Chateau Buena Vista Napa Cabernet

Buena Vista Chateau Buena Vista Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

I drove all the way up to the Binny's in Bloomingdale to pick up a case of wine that was out of stock in the other stores. I got into a protracted discussion with wine consultant Don Rauba and one thing lead to another resulting in him sharing a taste of this wine remaining from an earlier tasting. I liked it and bought some but didn't recall at the time until I came home and checked my blogposts that we tasted this wine when visiting out east last summer when I wrote this note.
At that time, Alec has picked this up at the local wineshop in Westport, CT. From the legendary Buena Vista Winery with arguably one of the more colorful histories of the wineries in California with its founder, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista,” Agoston Haraszthy, an eccentric pioneer of California wines.

We visited the Buena Vista winery estate during one of our first visits to the Napa Sonoma wine country back in the mid-eighties. Founded in 1857, Buena Vista was one of California’s first premium wineries. The legendary brand is being re-born today under the vision of owner Jean-Charles Boisset. The estate and winery is located just outside the town of Sonoma, the original winery is now a California Historic Landmark.

The Count immigrated from Europe in 1840 in pursuit of opportunity in the burgeoning American West. Following the spirit of the forty-niners in search of gold in the hills of Northern California, Haraszthy sought “purple gold” – the perfect ‘terroir’ where he could grow grapes to make exceptional wine. He ultimately settled in Sonoma, birthplace of California and capital of the short-lived California Republic, where he founded Buena Vista Winery in 1857.

In the 1860’s Buena Vista covered more than 6,000 acres that ran up into the foothills and past the Mayacamas Mountain range into what is today Napa County.

In 1861, founder Count Haraszthy journeyed to Europe in search of the finest grapevines. In Bordeaux, he obtained Cabernet Sauvignon and brought choice cuttings back to California where he planted them at Buena Vista, thereby bringing Cabernet Sauvignon to the Napa Valley.

The inaugural release of this new label offering, Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon, was in 2013 as Buena Vista returned to Napa Valley. In recent history, Buena Vista has generally been considered and known for Sonoma Valley wines, based on its popular historic winery and cellar near downtown Sonoma.
This new addition to the Buena Vista portfolio is packaged in a large oversize heavy bottle of a premium wine but is moderately priced for a Napa Valley Estate Cabernet thereby offering good QPR (Quality Price Ratio). At $40, this drinks like wines tasting half again to two times more.  

Buena Vista Chateau Buena Vista Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
This 2016 release was sourced from Oak Knoll to St. Helena, from vineyards along Napa Valley’s eastern slope. The backbone of this is grapes from 10 acres of the Bartalucci Vineyard just south of St Helena, in Napa Valley near Raymond vineyards, a recent acquisition for Boisset. 

Like this earlier tasting, but sweeter than I recall or reported, this was bright garnet colored, medium full bodied, rich and opulent with intense structure, slightly obtuse, rich aromas and flavors of sweet ripe black berry, black cherry and black currant with notes of milk chocolate and touches of spice and licorice, fine-grained tannins that are soft with a full-bodied mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish.

RM 91 points.