2008 Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
The grapes we choose for our 2008 Buehler Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel are a mix of those off our estate vineyards and grapes from other select Napa Valley high quality, low-yielding vineyards. Dry-farmed for over 21 years, our 4.5 acre estate block consists of mature thirty-seven 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. We'll remember the 2008 harvest for the challenging growing conditions that ultimately delivered the quality grapes we're accustomed to, albeit in lower quantities. The worst Spring frosts in Napa Valley since 1972 spared our hillside vineyards for the most part; we lost perhaps 5-10% of our crop. Subsequent variable weather over bloom translated to looser clusters and smaller berries. An exceptionally bad fire season in Northern California thankfully left our vineyards intact and we experienced no smoke damage to our fruit. A collective sigh of relief could be heard at Buehler September 2 when we picked the Zinfandel and kicked off our harvest season. Our Zinfandel was aged for 11 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, flavorful, 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.