The story of P.B. Hein is the story of so many up and coming small producers in Northern California; a wine enthusiast starts making wine in their garage, gets good feedback from friends and family, and decides the time has come to produce wine professionally. What happens next really depends on the wine. Given the quality of the PB Hein wines we have had the chance to taste so far, their future looks bright indeed. Focusing on extremely small lots from high quality vineyards, owner-winemaker Paul Hein is able to create small amounts of exceptional wine, and best of all offers them for sale at reasonable prices.
The 2005 PB Hein Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, from the first commercially released vintage for Hein, is sourced from low-yielding vines at the foot of Howell Mountain. It is ruby in color, with a hint of garnet at the rim revealing its 5 years of age. The nose is wonderfully complex, with black cherry, blackberry, chocolate covered raspberry, smoky tanned leather, and mulling spice. The palate is layered and rich with sweet cherry, espresso bean, cranberry, licorice root and leather. Nice acidity carries these dense, powerful flavors on the finish.
This is definitely a “New World” wine, with ripe flavors and plenty of fruit, yet it shows that wines in this style can still be balanced and food friendly. A perfect wine for fans of California Cabernet, this would pair beautifully with prime rib or grilled steak. At just $32, for a small production, Napa Valley Cabernet, this represents an incredible bargain. Don’t miss out on this one!
Grapes: Hein Vineyard
Harvest Date: Nov. 16, 2005
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Clones 4 & 6, 100% Malolactic Fermentation
Barrel Aging: 26 Months, 100% New French Oak
Sugar at Harvest: 29.1 Brix
Total Acid: 7.1 g/liter
Residual Sugar: 0.06%
Production: 293 Cases
Paul is a fifth generation Napan with roots into viticulture and winemaking dating back 129 years to 1879 when his three times great grandfather PJ Hein had 29,000 vines on Mount Veeder. However, like the rest of the current generations of the Hein family, his interest in wine was for many years confined to tasting and collecting.
Paul felt that as a native Napan it made sense to make wine. With the intention of eventually opening a small boutique winery on his 47 acres above Saint Helena after he retired, he actively started making wine as an amateur in 2002. His early efforts won a few awards and had people asking him when they would be able to purchase his wines. He realized that it was time to get serious, so in 2005 Paul started his first commercial production under the name P. B. Hein Vineyards.
Paul's approach to winemaking is to produce an extremely small lot, 1 ton or so, as a test to prove out both the vineyard and the winemaking method prior to releasing any wine for production. Given the right vineyard in the right terroir, the grapes will do most of the work of making an excellent wine. According to Paul, it is the job of the winemaker to do no harm, and allow the grapes to 'do their thing'.
Paul believes strongly in old world winemaking: small lots, bin fermentation and as little mechanical intervention as is humanly possible. No huge stainless steel vats, no mechanical pumpovers. Being 'hands on' with each bin allows us to produce the highest quality wines possible, albeit in small quantities. The largest batch we have produced to date is only 400 cases.
Learn more at www.pbheinvineyards.com.