Piña Napa Valley - 2008 Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon / 2008 Buckeye Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Piña Napa Valley has two specialties. The family has had their feet firmly planted in the Napa Valley for many, many years. They first established themselves as vineyard managers. Now they’ve also become well known for wine. Given that they manage so many acres in Napa it’s no surprise that they have access to lots of interesting lots of fruit. Their specialty is small lot single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Today I’ll look at two of their current releases. First up is the Piña Napa Valley 2008 Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the fruit for this wine was sourced at the namesake vineyard located in the Rutherford section of Napa Valley. This offering is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Piña family has owned the property since 1960 and the current vines were planted in 2002 and 2005. Barrel aging took place over 20 months in all French oak; 67% of the barrels were new. 236 cases of this Cabernet Sauvignon were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $85.

The deep, brooding nose is loaded with explosive dark fruit aromas and oodles of spice such as clove, nutmeg and allspice. This Cabernet Sauvignon has a full throttle palate that’s layered with blackberry, plums, black raspberry and chocolate. Kirsch Liqueur flavors leads the finish which also features oodles of earth and dark chocolate. This is a big wine that just oozes intense flavors from beginning to end. Firm acidity keeps things in check. If you’re going to drink this over the next couple of years, decanting for about 90 minutes or so is recommended.

Next up is the Piña Napa Valley 2008 Buckeye Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. All off the fruit for this wine is from the namesake vineyard located on Howell Mountain. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Piña family has owned this property since 1996 and the vines were planted in 1997 and 2005. Barrel aging occurred over 19 months in 100% French oak; 76% of the barrels were new. 359 cases of this release were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $85.

Aromas of toast and bramble underscore lots of dark berry compote characteristics. The palate is a who’s who of dark fruit flavors with blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, black currant and plum flavors all making their presence known. Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom are also in evidence throughout a palate that has an impressive depth. Espresso, dark chocolate and a boatload of cherry characteristics are all part of the finish which goes on and on. The Buckeye Vineyard Cabernet has firm tannins that soften nicely with aeration.  More than anything it's a classic example of terrific Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. It possesses structure, depth, length and brawny power while maintaining balance and precision. Decant it for a couple of hours if you’re drinking it in the short term, otherwise lay it down for 10-12 years.

Piña Napa Valley is turning out excellent examples of site specific Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re a fan of powerful Napa Cabernets that showcase their place of origin, as well as have the ability to age, you’ll want to try some of the wines from Piña.