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Today's Wine:

2012 PB Hein Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 PB Hein Cabernet Sauvignon Hein Vineyard, Napa Valley


 
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Today's Wine Comments:
Cellarthief

WS96 Vintage | 5★ Member Favorite Sell-Out

Lovingly handcrafted from a single vineyard that neighbors renowned properties like Caymus and Beaulieu, this small-lot, pure-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in the Bordeaux style. And that’s not all: It also possesses the immeasurable quality of Rutherford dust, a telltale sign of terroir and one André Tchelistcheff called a requirement of great Cabernet. Nearly impossible to find outside the winery and a handful of local restaurants.

f 96 points or “Excellent.” “Cabernet shined brightest,” in the 2012 vintage, writes the Wine Spectator. “Winemakers in Napa Valley were not only elated by the quality and quantity of the 2012 harvest, but a few see a level of excellence that supersedes past vintages, going back decades.”


·The approach of this tiny Napa winery is as genius as it is modest: to produce only very small lots of premium, place-specific wines. The largest batch ever made at this boutique winery was a minuscule 400 cases!

·Pretty rare in this part of the world, where wine-loving flocks expatriate to and from places near and far—proprietor Paul Bernard Hein is actually a fifth-generation Napan. In fact, his ancestor PJ Hein tended 29,000 vines back in 1879!

·Ranking among the finest Napa Valley sub-regions, perched above St. Helena, Hein's 46-acre property sits at the 800-foot level of Howell Mountain—known for making some of Napa Valley's biggest bodied Cabernets.

Following a motto of “as little mechanical intervention as is humanly possible,” trailblazer Paul Hein is a self-taught vintner and a stickler for the tiniest of details. This rare offer is 100% Cabernet grown on the Hein’s family ranch just below Howell Mountain, and it is a doozy of a Cabernet.

PB Hein specializes in tiny lots of non-interventionist winemaking. A visit to this unique outpost proves just how limited and hands on this place is. There are no massive stainless steel vats, no mechanics for automated pump overs. In fact, there’s hardly any metal here at all. The place looks like a winery from yesteryear, and that’s just how proprietor Paul Hein likes it. A total of 103 cases of this estate-grown Cab were made in the spectacular 2012 vintage. The wine was barrel aged for 22 months in new French oak and is now just beginning to his its peak. Drink now with a special meal and equally special friends or to cellar away for another decade.

Dark cherry, bright blackberry, and hints of raspberry are tempered with notes of vanilla and delicate white pepper. This is every bit the delicious full bodied Napa cab that has captivated fans for years.

From the winery:

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.  The best technique can't make excellent wine from poor grapes.  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.

Rosemary and pepper jack over a fresh-off-the-grill burger. Grilled portabella mushrooms and herb crusted lamb steak. If you’re slinging a pan over the stove, braise some short ribs and enjoy some rosemary salted tots.

Wine Ratings

92 Insider Points

Wine Reviews

A Real Cowboy's Cab

Or perhaps the Camper's Cab. Either way, this is a wine for the great outdoors. As springtime inches closer, I keep looking to the mountain and beach trails, waiting for the first excuse to hike in and pitch the tent. That's what PB Hein's Cabernet made me think of as soon as I dove into it. I'm grabbing at least couple bottles for my next trek.   

A full nose of baked plum and graphite. The palate is layered with gritty yet subtle tannin, and tastes of black cherry, dragonfruit, raw cocoa, earthy tobacco and fresh cedar. The acidity is heavy up front, mellows out through the mid-palate then flairs up for a juicy, tannic finish. This will be a perfect pairing with campfire-grilled meats. I'm planning my trip already.  -92 Points - JZ March '18

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