Wine Review: 2009 Buoncristiani OPC

It seems fitting that after a couple of posts on wines to buy at Costco. I’d review a wine that is, to date, the most expensive wine we’ve put on the blog. Variety is the spice of life, right? Also, life is too short. Get the good stuff.

Let me give some context to this sipping experience: it was a treat yo-self moment. (I’m really good at finding reasons to treat myself. I consider it to be one of my strongest skill sets, actually.)

It had been a long week. Busy day job, busy weekend job, and by the time Sunday night rolled around, I was 100 pages behind in my reading for my latest wine course, with assignments due on Tuesday. I needed a study incentive, and there is (obviously) no better way to incentivize yourself to study viticulture and vinification methods than by appreciating them in a good wine. At least, that was my rationale for dropping some dollars on a good bottle: good wine will focus the mind and yield productivity. Right? It made sense at the time.

Buoncristiani is a producer out of Napa Valley that’s been on my list to sample. The winery was started and is currently run by four brothers - Matt, Jay, Aaron & Nate. They are Napa Valley natives, young dudes, and are currently making some seriously good wine.

The OPC that I was sipping on is a Bordeaux style blend - which means it’s made with traditional Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Syrah (Syrah isn’t actually a Bordeaux grape, but it works nicely in this blend). The wine has it all: gorgeous, ripe black fruit, smoke, tobacco and little bit of leather. The tannins are velvety smooth. The OPC is aged in French oak for nearly two years before bottling, which imparts some vanilla, baking spices and a bit of buttery flavor to the blend. To me, a Napa Valley wine aged in French oak is straight up comfort food - ripe fruit and butter. This is my American palate coming out in force (Europeans don’t generally use new French oak in the quantities we Yanks do) and I am 100% okay with it.

I paired this wine with a BellaVitano cheese infused with a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar. Guys, it was ridiculously good. I even saved some for Emma to try.

Rating: Squee....! Place of Purchase: DCanter, Washington DC. Retail price: $50. You’ll like this wine if you like: California Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec or California Merlot