Pina, Napa Valley and Grgich Hills Estate

28 May

We heard about Pina, Napa Valley from a customer a little over a month ago, who was looking for this wine they’d bought in Napa. I tracked it down, and found out a little about this boutique winery, and had a chance to taste their wonderful wines. Pina, as a company, survives by doing vineyard management, which gives them access to some exceptional grapes.

AT Pina

Clair Palmer, a 20 yr retiree gave us a thorough explanation of their wines, including many statistics on wine and the area. They do only 2000 cases, with 90% sold in tasting room or wine club, so it’s in very limited supply. All of their 6 cabs are 100% cabernet sauvignon and single vineyard, which is very unusual for Napa (where most wines are blends, even if they’re called cabernet sauvignon). The first wine, Cahoots, is very nice, but the next two, which probably are available in MA, are fabulous. We look forward to have them again. Here are notes taken during the tasting.

D’Adamo Vineyard 2007 – (decanted) $75; Intense black fruit with expresso on the nose; delicious and lush; fresh and long; lovely

Howell Mountain Buckeye Vineyard 2007 –(decanted) $85, Wonderfully intense nose with coffee, leather; decayed volcanic ash; beautiful on the palate, complex and very long.

The also have a chardonnay which is sold out (said to be unique) and a late harvest chardonnay that we tasted and loved.

Grgich Hills Estate – Next we headed over to Grgich

Cheesemaker from Beehive at Grgich

Hills, since we carry a chardonnay and cabernet from them that are popular at the store. We’d never visited and wanted to check them out. It’s on the busy side of Napa, and, being Sunday, it took a few minutes to make a right hand turn onto the main drag. They are smaller than you might think, at 30,000 cases per year, and both organic and biodynamic. We were happy with the quality of the wines, but they have a name and aren’t inexpensive, ranging from $35 for a zin up to $150 for a cabernet sauvignon, of the ones we tried during the visit.

We were happy to find out that they were having their 2nd annual Wine and Cheese Festival, with many cheese-makers on hand to present their cheeses. There were five tables, each with a different wine and cheese company. This was lunch….and a lot of fun…and we expect you will get to try some of these exceptional cheeses. Our favorite was BeeHive Cheese company; their Tea Hive (coated with bergamon…much better than it sounds), Barely Buzzed (hand rubbed with expresso and lavender) and Sea Hive (hand rubbed with local honey and sea salt) are unusually delicious. That’s all for today.

Cheese-fest at Grgich


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