Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.
Robert Mondavi

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wine of the Week: Buehler Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a varietal that is horribly overlooked. Many people bypass the Zinfandel aisle for the more common red varietals (i.e. – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, etc). However, as I covered in the Cab rules supreme article from last month, there are a lot of quality, unique wines that get looked over.

Zinfandel is the one grape that US consumers should really embrace. For many years it was considered to be California’s only native grape. Although DNA research has shown that it is Croatian in origin, there is no doubt that Napa and Sonoma County winemakers have perfected this varietal. Besides this, Zinfandel is also very food-friendly, easy to drink by itself, bold and overall inexpensive! The best Zinfandels will typically run you $30-40, while there are plenty of mediocre Cabernets and Merlots that start at $30-45. I hope you heard that Stag’s Leap and Duckhorn!

I will now step down from my soapbox and offer you my recommendation.

2007, Buehler, Zinfandel, Napa Valley - $19

The aroma lofts pleasantly of cherry and strawberry along with some slight herbal notes. It awakens the palate with jammy strawberry, raspberry and blackberry flavors. It has a very supple body with nice warmth and a long, flavorful finish. This wine pairs perfectly with BBQ and grilled foods, as well as a nice steak. Gary Vaynerchuk will be happy with this Zinfandel as it is not an Oak Monster!

Wine Spectator gives the 2007 Buehler a 90 and I give it a 91. It is not an overly complex wine, but the generous jammy fruit and long finish that it offers is terrific.

The next time you are out, look for this wine or the 2007 Seghesio Family Zinfandel from Sonoma (if you can find it!) . Your taste buds will thank you!



  1. Found your posts on craigslist.. Love your blog! I've been meaning to try Buehler's other wines, especially their reds. I am absolutely in love with their Chardonnay. Have you had it? It's so oaky but not "tree bark" type oak. One of my favorite tasting notes on this wine was of "graham crackers", and that, in my opinion, is completely accurate. Cheers :)

  2. Thanks for the recommendation! I hope you enjoy the Buehler Zinfandel. Another one to look for would be Seghesio's Sonoma Zinfandel. It is fantastic! I will be posting about that tomorrow.

    I hope you continue to enjoy the reading and feel free to continue to comment or ask questions.

  3. Is it possible to buy Zinfandel grapes all across the country? Or do these vineyards tend to keep them locked up for themselves? I've been using local grapes from the san diego region for my wine making.

  4. I am sure you can. This year especially, with the glut of grapes that are available and not under contract.

    A couple of my sources have said that a lot of growers are holding out until the end this year, BUT when it is all said and done, they will want to sell their grapes rather than let them rot on the vine and make nothing.

    Here is a link that may help. There are constantly growers on here from all over looking to sell grapes:

    Good luck!