2018 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel, Napa Valley, USA (750ml)
The grapes we choose for our 2018 Buehler Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel come exclusively from our low-yielding estate vineyards. Dry-farmed for over 31 years, our 4.5 acre estate block consists of mature forty-four year-old vines which typically give us around 2.5 tons/acre 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.
Compared with the past several years, the 2018 Napa Valley growing season was notable for its lack of severe weather events. A cool spring and an excellent fruit set made for a later start than the last several harvests; we completed our Zinfandel harvest on September 18th. Moderate temperatures demanded patience and rewarded those winemakers that waited for flavor development by delivering intensely flavored fruit with good natural acidity.
Our Zinfandel was aged for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels, 20% of which were new. At this level of “new wood”, the up-front endearing quality of Zinfandel can assert itself. Aromas of a briar patch on a hot summer day carry over to the palate and are carried in a mouth-filling, deeply layered, juicy package. The wine was crafted for immediate enjoyment but for those who enjoy a more complex wine displaying some bottle-aged character, aging for another two to three years is a good option.
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