Review: 2008 Pina Cabernet Sauvignons

Three amazing new wines from the always-enchanting Piña Napa Valley. We got early looks at these hard-to-find, single-vineyard reds — all 100% Cabernet from various parcels in the Napa region.

2008 Piña Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Firehouse Vineyard – Another big, rich Cab from Piña. The first thought to hit my mind when I sipped it was tobacco, with light smoke and herbal notes lacing what is ultimately a pretty heady wine. Given the flavor profile, the vineyard designation is surprisingly apropos — burly, with that touch of smoke, all atop very rich plum fruit notes. One immediately thinks of arson as a means to get some more. A / $85

2008 Piña Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Buckeye Vineyard – A tighter wine, with less fruit forward. This one is restrained though not terribly tannic, its big body still exclaiming lots of cellar time in its future. Less intriguing on deeper exploration than the Firehouse Vineyard Cab, but menthol and a few herbal notes give it plenty of life. At a “mere” 14.9% alcohol, it’s the lightest wine of the group! A- / $85

2008 Piña Napa Valley Cabernet Napa Valley D’Adamo Vineyard – At $75, it’s the entry-level Piña bottling (though, at 191 cases made, it’s the smallest bottling of the bunch). The most fruit-forward, this is a moderately jammy wine, full of strawberry and ripe plum character, and cut with a bit of herbal finish. Lovely and easy-drinking — unlike the Buckeye, it’s ready to go now. A / $75

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