Monday, January 17, 2022

Buehler Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

For casual sipping with some pasta we opened this try-before you buy (more) wine I picked up at the wine shop. This is one of those classic wines that come along every so often that offers great  Vineyar - Quality Price Ratio. Not one of those that I say, RUN, don't walk to the local wine shop to grab up while supplies last, but one worth picking up if you see it. With 15000 cases produced, you should be able to find it.

A long time producer of modest offerings, this is one of those situations where 'all boats rise with the tide', in a top rated vintage, second and third labels or so rank producers can produce wines above their usual pay grade or weight class, whatever metaphor you wish to apply. Buehler also produce two premium label cabernets from their reserve selections and a single vineyard designated label.

Buehler Vineyards estate has been producing wine in the Napa Valley for over four decades under the direction of the Buehler Family. Buehler have three hundred acres five miles east of St Helena situated high in the mountains above Conn Valley and near the base of Howell Mountain. The Buehler Estate vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon and some Zinfandel. 

The mountain terroir has a topography of steeply sloped hillsides with eastern exposures against very gently sloping hills with southern and southwestern exposures. The soils reveal the tumultuous geologic past of the Estate; extensive faulting resulted in at least three distinct soil types. 

Grapes grown on the different terrains and soils give different characteristics to the finished wines; often as distinct as the differences across various Bordeaux varieties. This allows for crafting a blend showing the variety of Cabernet Sauvignon for a complex multi-faceted wine.

The 2018 season offered nearly perfect growing conditions for growers in the Napa Valley. The year was warm throughout the growing season but cooled right around harvest allowing everyone to pick their grapes slowly without the threat of overripening. 
Buehler benefited from a great vintage with all the stars aligning for a great wine that they offer at a price point more affordable than most other mountain grown Napa Cabernets. At street price around or under twenty five dollars, this represents good value and should be fairly readily available. A bit of flabbiness gives away its price point but it provides tasty and pleasant sipping none-the-less. Makes for a great pizza or party wine for casual sipping or respectably sharing with (non oenphile) friends.

This release was awarded 93 points by Vinous, 92 points by James Suckling, and 90 points by both Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator. 

Winemaker Notes; "The wine is brimming with fruit aromas and flavors biased to the black fruit end of the Cabernet spectrum: plums, blackberry, and black currant. Rich and full-bodied on the palate, this Cabernet drinks well on release but will soften and develop with additional age."
Garnet purple colored, medium-full-bodied with round ample ripe black-currant  blackberry and some blueberry fruits, accented with notes of graphite, dried herbs, floral, mocha, spice and leather ending with moderate tannins on a flavorful finish. 

RM 90 points.