2009 Pina Cellars Low Vineyard Select Late Harvest Chardonnay

I knew I was going to like Pina as soon as we pulled into their gravel drive.  Surrounded by old tractors, wine barrels and remnants of days long gone, Pina’s small warehouse is home to a limited list of micro-produced bottles, resulting in a mere 2,500 cases produced yearly.  It is a labor of love – small and exclusive, yet rid of any air of pretension.  After sipping through their various cabernet selections, my favorite of which was the 2009 Rutherford Firehouse Cabernet, we concluded our visit with a sampling of their 2009 Late Harvest Chardonnay, a wine in which I was, admittedly, not overly-excited to indulge.  Having listened to our friend Matt wax poetic about this dessert wine as we cruised through the Napa hills, I was skeptical as, being a savory-girl at heart, this is a style of wine I generally shy away from.  With one dubious taste, all doubts were silenced as the round, stone fruit flavors and silky texture of the wine enveloped me.  It was so ideally balanced, teasing the tongue with its sweet nature before closing with a long, balanced finish.  Sufficiently proved wrong, we left with two bottles!  I couldn’t wait to share this with my parents and our dear family friends the Behrs.  Paired with bleu cheese and shards of chocolate (the more bitter the better) it was the perfect way to finish an evening of fireworks and fun.  The late harvest chardonnay cleanses the mouth after the bleu cheese has taken over your taste buds.  It is there again to quench your thirst after the bitterness of the dark chocolate does it’s work.  A classic and elegant post-dinner course, this is a new foodie-girl favorite.  And it’s all thanks to Pina, the small and unassuming winery that left me with a lasting impression.  I raise my glass to you – cheers!




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