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2010 Casa Piena Awarded 95 Rating By Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2013-10-01

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Issue #209
October, 2013

I have liked Casa Piena's wines in the past, but I thought the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is the finest wine I have yet tasted. There are 500 cases of this intense, full-bodied, powerful, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers an opaque purple color, a sweet nose of licorice, scorched earth, blackberries and black currants followed by a full-bodied, powerful wine with the wood, alcohol, tannin and acidity well-integrated. Juicy and multidimensional with a layered mouthfeel, this impressive 2010 is already approachable and is capable of lasting 25 or more years. Both of these wines come from a vineyard in the Yountville AVA not far from the Kapcsandy estate.

— Robert Parker


2010 Casa Piena Awarded 93-95 Rating By Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2011-12-26

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Issue #198
December, 2011

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is totally striking. Layers of dark red fruit, plums, cherries and violets burst from this deep, textured Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2010 yields were down to 1.25 tons per acre, less than half the level of 2009. Those sacrifices in the vineyard have paid off big time. This is a stunning Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon that amply demonstrates the heights that are within reach here. I loved it. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

Casa Piena is owned by the exuberant Carmen Policy and his wife Gail. Policy is best known for his work in the San Francisco 49ers front office during the golden era in which the team won four Super Bowls. Success breeds success, as the saying goes. These are two hugely polished, elegant wines from the Policy family and winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.

— Robert Parker


2007 Casa Piena Awarded 94 Points By Wine Spectators!
2011-10-30

Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008
94 points | $150 | 450 cases made | Red

A tight, vivid, juicy, concentrated yet graceful youngster, focused on dense mineral, dark berry, currant and blackberry fruit, ending with chewy tannins and notes of espresso and spice. Comes on the heels of a 2007 that seemed out of sync with the vintage. Best from 2012 through 2022. 450 cases made. –JL


2007 Casa Piena Awarded 94 Points!
2010-12-23

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Issue #192
December 23, 2010

The 2007, which was the debut vintage from this 14-acre parcel, is beautiful. Elegant, silky notes of red and black currants intermixed with lead pencil shavings, bay leaf, licorice, and earth are presented in a seductive, medium to full-bodied, fleshy, opulent style. Beautiful purity, texture, and length all make for an impressively well-balanced wine that is already showing complexity and savory elements. It should continue to drink well for 15 or more years.

A new project, and an impressive one at that, Casa Piena is owned by former lawyer and football executive for the San Francisco 49ers, Carmen Policy. None other than Thomas Brown is the winemaker at this facility, which is situated at the crossroads of Silverado Trail and the Yountville Crossroad, a pretty classy neighborhood, considering that Cliff Lede and Kapcsandy are also nearby. The wine at Casa Piena is aged 20 months in 80% new French oak casks and is virtually 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

— Robert Parker


2008 Casa Piena Awarded 95 Points!
2010-12-23

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Issue #192
December 23, 2010

Slightly better (which is no surprise, since it appears to be an impressive work in progress) is the 2008 Casa Piena. Production in this vintage is slightly higher as well. This wine displays similar character, with more unsmoked cigar tobacco intermixed with creme de cassis, camphor, graphite, and some subtle earthiness. Opaque ruby/purple, medium to full-bodied, layered, and opulent, this is a beauty as well, but slightly richer and potentially more complex than the brilliant 2007. This is an impressive newcomer, so take note!

A new project, and an impressive one at that, Casa Piena is owned by former lawyer and football executive for the San Francisco 49ers, Carmen Policy. None other than Thomas Brown is the winemaker at this facility, which is situated at the crossroads of Silverado Trail and the Yountville Crossroad, a pretty classy neighborhood, considering that Cliff Lede and Kapcsandy are also nearby. The wine at Casa Piena is aged 20 months in 80% new French oak casks and is virtually 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

— Robert Parker


Another field for Carmen Policy's talents
2010-01-24

Deborah Grossman, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, January 24, 2010

"What's on Carmen Policy's mind as he starts his day at his home and vineyard in Yountville?

He's not reminiscing about the good old days as president of the 49ers. Nor is he stressing about his consulting contract with the developer who hopes to build the new 49ers stadium at Hunters Point in San Francisco.

After a cool winter evening, he's checking on the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes destined for his Casa Piena wine.

"Maybe it's my Italian heritage, but there's nothing better than staying in tune with the seasons and watching the grapevines change throughout the year," he says. "I want to understand how all the winemaking pieces fit together,"

Producing wine might have been a nice sideline to Policy's career. But he doesn't see winegrowing as a vanity project. He is a hands-on vintner.

"I met Carmen in 2005 before his first harvest. I sensed then and see now that Carmen is involved from dirt to shelf, and isn't shy about seeking advice. Quality seems to run in Carmen's veins," says Andrew Groth, vice president of operations at Groth Vineyards and one of Policy's neighbors.

Policy's interest in Napa Valley paralleled his involvement with the 49ers in the 1980s, as he and wife Gail vacationed in Wine Country. After moving to Palo Alto in 1991, the Policys visited more frequently. "Carmen always enjoyed fine wine, and as we met more winemaking families, we realized we wanted this lifestyle, too," says Gail Policy..."

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Wine Spectator's Wineries to Watch - Five rising stars in Napa Valley
2009-11-15

James Laube
Issue: November 15, 2009

CASA PIENA
A 49er Pans for Gold

When Carmen Policy left the NFL, he may have thought his toughest competition was behind him. Yet now he's competing on a whole new playing field: Napa Valley.

The former president of the San Francisco 49ers presided over that team's rise to greatness-starting in 1977, Policy helped build five championship teams from 1981 through 1995-as well as its unraveling, when then-owner Eddie DeBartolo lost control of the team. Policy still proudly displays his Super Bowl rings in his home office in Yountville.

"When it worked [with the 49ers], there was nothing better," he says of his tenure in San Francisco.

The last ring came in 1995. When ownership of the 49ers changed hands, Policy departed for his home state of Ohio to run the Cleveland Browns. No rings there.

In 2003, he and his wife, Gail, purchased their property in Napa, where they hired Jim Barbour to plant 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker is Thomas Brown, who also owns his own label, Rivers-Marie, and makes Schrader's stunning Cabernets.

"It's a business and it's not a business," Policy says of Casa Piena, the Italian cardplaying term for "full house." The debut bottling from 2006 (93, $125) is a terrific wine-rich, intense, vibrant and full-bodied, with well-defined loamy currant, berry, herb and toasty oak flavors, yet made in a more elegant style than many Napa Cabernets. Production is projected to expand from about 250 cases to 800.

"What's the goal?" he asks. "The goal is to make something great. It's part of your credibility. [The wine] needs to stand up to value and quality. We didn't want a big, strong, dominant style, but something more like Bordeaux."

"I used the 49er model [for organization]," Policy says. "Putting the right people in the right positions and let them make the decisions. I oversee, but don't supervise."

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Former SF 49er tackles wine business
2009-11-12

EXAMINER
by Julia Hollister

"...Carmen Policy, former president of the San Francisco 49ers through the team’s Golden Age, knows about football and now he’s added a new addition to his playbook – wine making.

“In 2003, my wife Gail and I bought vineyard property in Napa and began Casa Piena,” he said. “The name means ‘full-house’ in Italian and vividly describes our family of three sons and two daughters – three of a kind and a pair.” ..."

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Are You Ready for Some Football (Wines)?
2009-09-24

Wine Spectator

Unfiltered

Unfiltered kicks off the new football season with an overview of NFL stars past and present who are donning the winemaking helmet

"...Carmen Policy, the former president of the San Francisco 49ers who presided over that team’s rise to greatness—starting in 1977, Policy helped build five championship teams from 1981 through 1995—as well as its unraveling, when then-owner Eddie DeBartolo lost control of the team. Policy still proudly displays his Super Bowl rings in his home office in Yountville. In 2003, he and his wife, Gail, purchased a property in Napa, where they hired Jim Barbour to plant 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker is Thomas Brown, who also owns his own label, Rivers-Marie, and makes Schrader’s stunning Cabernets. Policy’s label is named Casa Piena, the Italian card-playing term for “full house,” and the debut bottling from 2006 (93 points, $125) is a terrific wine—rich, intense, vibrant and full-bodied, with well-defined loamy currant, berry, herb and toasty oak flavors, yet made in a more elegant style than many Napa Cabernets..."

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Carmen Policy on the national "What's Cookin" radio show from CRN Digital Talk Radio.
2009-05-11

"What's Cookin" radio show with Carmen Policy
Hosted by veteran broadcasters Mike Horn & Paul Stern.


CRN"Their  personal and private lives both characterize a commitment to providing  the best possible effort driven by an extraordinary sense of  passion.Carmen’s first career was that of a trial lawyer providing an  opportunity to help defend and promote the interest of his clients in a  competitive and dramatic setting. He moved from the courtroom to the  gridiron. Following from his successful career in law, Carmen joined  the San Francisco 49ers organization, where he played a key role in all  five of the 49ers' Super Bowl winning teams, helping to establish them  as one of the preeminent franchises in all of sports. He and Gail found  their new life and their new home in San Francisco to be a virtual  fairytale come true.The San Francisco 49ers became an extension of a  strong sense of family that they both carried with them from their  native Ohio. After 25 years of happily toiling in the NFL vineyards and  creating a treasure trove of memories and accomplishments, Gail and  Carmen realized, sometime in the 1990’s, that they were compelled to  pursue the amazing lifestyle and challenges that winemaking and Napa  Valley offered. Wine, sunshine, great food and romance were the  enticements that could not be resisted."



Wine Spectator | 93 Points
2009-04-29

Wine Spectator Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006
93 points | $125 | 240 cases made | Red

"Both intense and vibrant, with a measure of restraint and finesse. Rich, concentrated, focused, deep and persistent, with chewy tannins. The flavors are built around tight currant, blackberry, black olive and cedary oak, with a touch of anise. Needs time. Best from 2010 through 2017".—J.L.


A Football Mogul's Home Game
2009-01-23

The Wall Street Journal

By NANCY KEATES

Big-time sports figures gather at 'Charmin'' Carmen Policy's Napa Valley estate

"Yountville, Calif. -- It's a flawless, 70-degree January day in Napa Valley, so quiet and still that Carmen Policy's Mediterranean-esque home, surrounded on all sides by grape vineyards backed by mountains, feels like an oil painting. The pool sparkles, and the lemon and orange trees lining the garden's stone paths are heavy with fruit.

It's lunchtime. Former Indy 500 race-car driver Randy Lewis drops by bearing bottles of his winery's Chardonnay and 2006 Van Gris Rosé. He and Mr. Policy, former president of the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers, seat themselves at the 14-foot limestone table in the outdoor kitchen where they share a meal of Cornish hen and roasted fingerling potatoes, cooked in the wood-burning oven by a chef from Bottega, a local restaurant.

Completed on 14 acres a little more than a year ago, Mr. Policy's $15 million estate is one of the hubs for the community of professional athletes and big-time sports executives who have channeled their competitiveness and their resources into the Napa wine scene. Mr. Policy's winery, housed in another location, will release its first batch of Cabernet Sauvignon this March. Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana grows grapes down the road. Arnold Palmer, Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon all have their names on local labels...."

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Napa Valley Life - 7th Annual Intriguing Napa Valley
2008-12-31

Written by  Kari Ruel - Majority of photos by Art & Clarity

Napa Valley Life"It's time once again to introduce you to intriguing Napa Valley residents worth getting to know...
Carmen Policy, 65 - Former NFL executive and vintner"

"A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Policy is an attorney and former National Football League executive who is best known for his front office work for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980's and 1990's. He became presidents in 1991 and played a key role in the 49ers Super Bowl victories in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990 and 1995...

Now Policy is focusing on his new venture coming out in Spring, the release of his 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon..."

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Houston Chronical - Pro athletes pair well with wine
2008-12-29

Houston Chronicle

By DALE ROBERTSON Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

"...After winning five Super Bowls with the 49ers — four with Montana — he’s aiming high in wine, too. His first Casa Piena, from grapes grown on nine acres of prime Yountville soil purchased from Charles Krug, is slated for release in the spring. With hot young winemaker Thomas Brown in the cellar, Policy believes he has “put the right pieces together” for it to become a cult classic..."

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Angeleno - The Oeno Files
2007-08-01

In the insular world of California Cult Wines, status is the point and prices is no object
By Jordan Mackay | Photography by David Waldorf

Angeleno"It is difficult to keep my eye from dwelling on the massive, diamond-studded ring on Carmen Policy's finger. Sitting in the living room of his Tuscan-style villa in Napa Valley's Yountville, we chat in the light reflected off the sea of bright-green vines outside. In a few months, Policy and his wife, Gail, will debut a wine called Casa Piena. The Super Bowl ring may have been a hard-won trophy for this former president of the San Francisco 49ers, but he understands that Napa's playing field is just as daunting if your hope is to produce that rare figure of success: the next cult wine. "We have high hopes for our first release," Policy says. "But after you've put the pieces together, you can only pray that things line up in your favor."

When things do line up, though, the success can be utterly overwhelming. The world of these often rich, hedonistic cult wines is one where demand - always heralded by a stratospheric score from wine critic Robert Parker - it can arouse the kind of fervor typically reserved for Google IPO or rolling Stones concert..."

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Showing 1-15 of 15 articles



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