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Buehler’s remote Napa outpost is forever remembered as Ground Zero for the incredible ascent of Heidi Barrett as she went on to fame with Screaming Eagle. Her golden touch still pervades the winemaking style there and tasters were floored by the exotic and heady delights that pour from this classic Napa Zinfandel. 2013’s abundant fruit and sticky summer sweetness are captured perfectly and framed with expert oak treatment. The result is a masterpiece of spicy, irresistible Zin that does everything well.
About the wine
“How Buehler can keep producing tasty Napa Zinfandel for such a decent price is beyond me.” – Wine Spectator
Indeed, the biggest mystery surrounding Buehler is not their proprietary methods, their special land holdings, or their blending proportions. What the competition doesn’t understand is why Buehler simply doesn’t charge more for their wines? Well John Buehler’s not about to give the price-gougers any satisfaction on that front – what’s more, he’s ready to tighten the belt even more and drop the mic with an incredible sale on his 2013 Napa Zinfandel. And what a vintage to choose to make such a power move! 2013’s praises have been sung by every red-blooded wine journalist – and rightly so – this was a year of bumper crops and sensational concentration. Every wine had an extra shot thrown in for free by Mother Nature, and it made for the best reds in recent memory. Buehler’s approach played perfectly into the vintage’s strengths – their large holdings gave them a stable crop, and they managed the harvest and elevage just right, delivering sappy berry flavors laced with white pepper, cinnamon and clove. This wine just jumps for joy all over the palate and then cruises into the finish with flavors of mulberry pie, blueberry jam and crème brulee. .
Winemaker: David Cronin
Appellation: Napa Valley
- 93-94 pts: Walter Moore, WSET Diploma, CSW
- 93 pts: Vintage Rating (Wine Enthusiast)
Grapes: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Vineyards: Estate & Selected Napa Vyds
Cooperage: 12 months in 20% New Oak, French & American
About the winery
John & Helen Buehler purchased 300 acres way in the hinterlands of Napa back in 1971 with an eye towards making a quiet life in retirement among the vines. That all changed when the Buehlers hired a young local winemaker in 1982 – Heidi Barrett. As in Screaming Eagle’s founding winemaker. Back before she became the most famous winemaker on Earth, she saw promise in this humble Napa estate, and their wines made an immediate impact. Her lasting legacy has been over three decades of memorable wines at this remote outpost which preserves the taste and style of the Golden Era of Napa wine.
About the vineyards
The grapes chosen for the 2013 Buehler Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel are a mix of those from their estate vineyards and grapes from other select Napa Valley high quality, low-yielding vineyards. Dry-farmed for over 26 years, Buehler’s 4.5 acre estate block consists of mature forty year-old vines of beautiful hillside Zinfandel fruit. Interspersed among the head-trained vines are a handful of Petite Sirah vines representing perhaps 5% of the total vines in this block. A traditional field companion to Zinfandel in pre-prohibition California vineyards, Petite Sirah contributes pepper, color, and tannin structure to the wine.
About the winemaker, David Cronin
Longtime Buehler winemaker David Cronin had some mighty big shoes to fill after Heidi Barrett departed, but the Buehlers knew he would be up to snuff – Cronin had brought his A-game from previous stints at Joseph Phelps and Far Niente. Over the past 25 years, he’s made some of the finest vintages in Napa history, delivering great quality without the use of flashy oak barrels or winemaking trickery.
93-94 pts - Walter Moore, WSET Diploma, CSW
"Inky in color, appetizing aromas of fresh tilled earth and wild blackberry pie dominate the nose with strong notes of dusty cocoa. And on the palate this Zin reveals layers of delicious ripe black fruit, zingy cinnamon and dark chocolate. It finishes with flavors of fresh ground coffee and rich toasty oak that leaves your tastebuds begging for a second glass. This is definitely a crowd-pleasing wine and is so approachable it will pair perfectly with those more casual meals like pasta and red sauce, mushroom and sausage pizza or even homemade grilled burgers."