Both the WineCollective team and club members have been fans of PB Hein Vineyards for quite some time, with previous features as far back as 2006 vintages. Known for his big and bold Napa Syrah, we were very excited to meet and sit down with owner and winemaker himself, Paul Bernard Hein, and taste through some new vintages of old favourites.
Paul Bernard Hein began personally making wine in 2002, and after earning a growing following he opened PB Hein Vineyards in St. Helena in 2005. His great grandfather, PJ Hein, owned 29,000 vines on Mount Veeder and today Paul’s winemaking philosophy doesn’t stray far from his great grandfather’s.
Tim & Owen (Plaid Cap Imports), Amber, Paul Hein
A humble farmer and winemaker, Paul “believes strongly in old world winemaking: small lots, bin fermentation and as little mechanical intervention as is humanly possible. Being ‘hands on’ with each bin allows us to produce the highest quality wines possible, albeit in small quantities.”
If you have previously tried any of the PB Hein wines, you may find similarities within. Amber mentioned that through the lineup and previous vintages, she found commonalities of hickory and mesquite spice flavours. As a winemaker, Paul has most definitely created a ‘signature’ that we happen to really enjoy!
Oak treatments contribute largely to the ‘spice’ component and signature of PB Vineyard wines. For Cabernet, Paul says he sticks to French oak, but when it comes to his Syrah, American and Hungarian oak are best, and the later creates a lovely additional sweetness.
“Oak is a toolbox for affecting wine.” Paul B. Hein
With California’s 4th year in drought conditions, rain all dropped from 40” in the season to just 8. Fortunately for Paul, his giant well keeps the vines growing. However, 2014’s short season means less wine coming from Napa Valley and a definite price increase according to Paul.
Represented by Plaid Cap Imports, Owen and Tim, Paul has taken on another project for the brothers and now produces for them under the label, Chaos Wines, which we also got to taste!
2013 Chaos Rose
100% Syrah from a single vineyard. Heavily bodied for a rose with bright strawberry and cranberry notes. Silky on the palate with lovely balanced acidity. All Chaos wines also feature a hand painted design, created by Tim.
A lighter style Syrah for PB Hein with ripe fruits and undertones of spice. Paul says he introduces this wine for those who prefer white.
2010 Chaos Merlot
Rich ruby red in colour. Cassis and raisin notes with violet and rose. This wine spends 34 months in barrel and holds some weight with its 14% alcohol. Only 150 cases were produced.
2011 Trail Blazer
40% Cab, 30% Syrah, and 30% Petit Syrah. Dark fruits with earth and peppercorn, toasted oak mid-palate. The Cab gives a finish of clove and green pepper. After three years of culinary training, Paul spoke of the Trail Blazer as the wine for all meals, and his love of creating delicious dishes to pair.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas of the high alcohol (15.75%) are present, with warm stewed berries and leather. The tannins are big and sticky.
We’d love to hear how you’ve enjoyed previous PB Hein wines! Don’t forget to leave your notes and ratings on WineCollective.ca, and keep an eye out for upcoming vintages of both Chaos and PB Hein!