Buoncristiani Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

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The Buoncristiani brothers take pride in performing all aspects of enology, viticulture and wine production for their label. Grapes are sourced from vineyards managed by Buoncristiani or from other Napa Valley growers who adhere to a strict viticultural philosophy. This blend was handcrafted from small lots harvested exclusively from hillside vineyards on Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and in Coombsville, including Ink Grade, Stagecoach, Hossfeld, Tench and Richard Bennett Vineyards. These small batches were kept separate during fermentation, after pressing, and throughout the first year of aging in French oak barrels. During the second year of barrel aging, the components were blended in several phases. This wine was aged in 85% new French oak barrels for 20 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered in June 2012. Only 374 cases were made. Look for deep aromas of cassis, black cherry, incense, dark chocolate, caramelized oak and toffee. Made of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Merlot, this is the ideal red for grilled steaks.

We met Nate Buoncristiani when he visited us at the Bottle Shop in February of 2014. We tasted through almost all of his family's wines including: 2012 Triad Blanc, 2012 Chardonnay (which we bought on the spot!), 2009 OPC red blend, 2010 Malbec and this 2010 Cabernet. All of the wines were big and luxurious, with polished mouthfeels and good balance in spite of intense richness. Nate told us that the backbone of the fruit for this Cabernet is from Coombsville, Napa's newest official AVA, which has been the source of high quality ('killer' as Nate would say!) Cabernet for many years. The brothers are also really into Syrah and Malbec. Nate said that Syrah is the 'Queen' to Cabernet as 'King'. The OPC has a big dose of both, as a blend of 40% Cab, 30% Syrah, 16% Merlot and 14% Malbec, and seems to be a possible future trend in Napa. Remember, Syrah is one of the original 'black grapes' that Californians blended for years with Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and more in big field vineyards. Nate's brother Jay is the winemaker, who worked at Hess Vineyards before the brothers set up Buoncristiani in their parents' garage at their home in Napa.
Category Red Wine
Country California
Region Napa Valley
Brand Buoncristiani
  • wa95

Wine AdvocateMoving up to the flagship wines, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Merlot (374 cases produced). This seamless, flawlessly constructed wine exhibits lots of blueberry, blackberry, cassis and spring flower characteristics as well as subtle background oak. Full-bodied, opulent and Margaux-like, only richer and denser, this sensational 2010 once again proves how impressive this vintage can be. Enjoy it over the next 15-20 years.

Robert Parker, October 2013