The winery was started with Carmen Policy back in Youngstown, Ohio. There wine was very popular in his largely Italian-American family. His grandfather and neighbors made their own wines handed down from their fathers in their basements. They would go to the railroad yards and purchase grapes off the boxcars coming from California. Then typically share amongst the community. So when the winery was founded in 1991 it made perfect sense to call it Casa Piena, which translates means “full house”.
Carmen Policy, originally a lawyer, joined the San Francisco 49’er football team where he played a role in their dynasty of winning 5 Super Bowls. Then temporarily moved back and worked a short time with the Cleveland Brown football team. He has returned to make Yountville his permanent home. Carmen, as with football, has a keen sense for talent, and hired Thomas Rivers Brown (one of the top 5 winemakers in Napa Valley) to make the wine. Additionally he hired one of the best vineyard managers, Jim Barbour to “tend the garden”. Jim worked the planting of the 9 acres including four preeminent clones of Cabernet Sauvignon (7,337,341 and 6).
In 2019 the property was sold to Pulido & Walker who now feature the Casa Piena single vineyard on their label.
The Wine – 2009 Casa Piena, Cabernet Sauvignon
The wine on eyes was a deep purple/brick red color and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, soft blackberries and floral notes. In the palate, blackberries, blueberries and soft leather flooded the mouth. Followed by a touch of oak, a hint of cedar providing a rich and robust wine. On the finish the tannins were silky smooth and yet an underlying structure with a long lasting finish. Hard to find this vintage today, but some of the wine sites show it for $145-$150/bottle. The 2019 Casa Piena still shows on their website. The 2009 made my annual list of Best Wines Tasted in the year for 2022:
The Food & Wine Pairing
Pulled this aged bottle from the cellar to have for a special dinner with longtime friends. We enjoyed many wines this evening and kept this one especially for the dinner pairing at their home. The meal consisted of a filet mignon done perfectly medium rare and accompanied by a twice baked potato, fresh garden salad and garlic French bread. The only thing better than the meal and wine were the conversations that evening around the table.
Looking forward understanding and tasting Pulido and Walker wines as I have not experienced them.