Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Piña Napa Valley – 2009 Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by Gabe on August 30, 2012

The Piña family has been growing grapes and managing vineyards in Napa Valley for a very long time. Their history in the valley dates back to the 1860’s. Cabernet Sauvignon lovers in particular also know them for the small lots of wines they produce, often from single vineyards. Over the last several vintages I’ve been impressed with the distinct wines they’re producing. Today I’ll look at a new release of one of their Cabs from one of my favorite Napa Valley sub-appellations.

The Piña Napa Valley 2009 Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a single site effort. All of the fruit for this wine was sourced at the Firehouse Vineyard in Rutherford, CA. The Piña Family has owned this particular 2.26 acre vineyard since 1960 and it was planted in 2002 and 2005. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Barrel aging took place over 20 months in entirely French oak; 67% of the barrels were new. 332 cases of this release were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $85.

Deep, dark berry fruit aromas, dominated by blackberry in particular leap from the nose of this wine. The first sip is a touch reticent but this wine opens up quickly in the glass and is raring to go. Plum, blueberry, black raspberry and blackberry all come together to form a conflagration of sweet, dark fruit flavors. Hints of chocolate and spice emerge at the back of the palate and lead to the impressive finish which shows off earth, minerals, chicory, and bits of pencil lead. This wine shows off terrific depth and complexity. It’s loaded with bold flavors but also has finesse and grace to spare.

While this Cabernet will age well over the next decade it’s quite accessible and ready to enjoy now. It pairs very well with full flavored foods. This single vineyard effort does a really good job showing off its sense of place; if wine could talk this one would scream, “Rutherford.” There’s a ton of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley at price points both much higher and lower than this one. Here’s one that spectacularly showcases what well made premium wine from this great Cabernet region can be all about. And yes, it’s worth every penny of the asking price.

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