Show Filter Options Clear Filters

Antonio Galloni's Vinous: 95 Points !

Antonio Galloni's Vinous: 95 Points ! cover thumbnail

2018 Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvginon
Drinking window: 2024 - 2033

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Casa Piena is done in a very different style from the past. The combination of a cooler vintage and picking at lower sugars yields a vibrant, energetic Cabernet Sauvignon. Floral and savory notes give the 2018 a striking aromatic top register to play off the red-toned fruit. This silky, mid-weight Cabernet represents a pretty big stylistic departure. I hope to have a chance to revisit the 2018 in a number of years to see how it has aged. Readers will find a Cabernet of grace and finesse.

 Antonio Galloni

Pulido~Walker Deepens Commitment to Napa Valley with Purchase of Policy Estate

Pulido~Walker Deepens Commitment to Napa Valley  with Purchase of Policy Estate cover

Napa Valley, CA (July 17, 2019) - Pulido~Walker proprietors Mark Pulido and Donna Walker recently deepened their commitment to the Napa Valley with the purchase of Carmen and Gail Policy’s Yountville Estate including the Policy Vineyard. This historic property’s residence, designed by esteemed architect Howard Backen, will be Mark and Donna’s new family home; their Mt. Veeder house was destroyed by the 2017 Napa Valley fires.

“This is a major milestone in our patient pursuit of the possible,” said Mark. “We’re so pleased that the Policy family is entrusting us with this Napa Valley legacy.” The sale closed July 15; financial details for this off-market, private transaction will not be disclosed. Sean Maher, Aspect Consumer Partners and Henry Schlangen, Terra Firma Global Partners acted as financial advisors and handled the negotiations.

“We have known Mark and Donna for approximately 12 years and have come to revere them and their son as family friends. Based upon Thomas River Brown’s reputation and accomplishments, it is no coincidence that we both have him as our wine maker. He is intricately involved in supporting each of our winery productions and business operations,” said Carmen Policy.

Part of this mutually beneficial transaction provides that Thomas will continue selecting the perfect grapes for Casa Piena, Carmen’s highly respected wine brand, from the estate, ensuring the continued tradition of excellence established with the first vintage in 2006.  Casa Piena wines will continue to be classified as Estate Grown due to the long-term arrangement for the grapes. “There will be no interruption or even a wrinkle in our wine business operation. This new arrangement and the continuity of team members will facilitate an expansion of creative involvement that benefits both families and businesses. We view this arrangement as a new chapter in the Casa Piena story that will be a special addition to our family library which will sit alongside the classic volumes that now exists,” commented Carmen.

The Policy Vineyard increases Pulido~Walker’s single vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon wine offerings to four remarkable sites – Mt. Veeder Estate Vineyard, Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill, Panek Vineyard and the Policy Vineyard. This addition brings Pulido~Walker’s Napa Valley owned holdings to 25 planted acres of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at Mt. Veeder Estate and Policy Vineyard.

The property is tucked behind and nestled at the base of one of the few valley floor knolls and is part of Napa Valley’s storied history.  First owned by the Lincoln family from 1877 to 1966, it was then transferred to Rose Mondavi.  The Policy’s acquired the land from her family in 2003, building the estate and planting the vineyard. Award-winning winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown will continue to oversee all wine making operations for both families’ highly acclaimed wines.

“We had originally hoped to rebuild after the devastating fires,” said Donna.  “But after more than 18 months of work, we realized the insurance environment and construction market didn’t support our original plan.  Once we discovered the magical Policy family home, our decision was fast.” Pulido~Walker’s Mt. Veeder property is now dedicated to single vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Donna and Mark first moved to Napa Valley in the 1990’s and purchased the Mt. Veeder property in 2006.

Mark Pulido and Donna Walker grew up in pharmacy families, and this early common experience is integral to the Pulido~Walker philosophy. Their scientific backgrounds make Mark and Donna precise, inquisitive and analytical; they know that perseverance and long-term attention to detail yield exceptional results worth waiting for. 

Pulido~Walker’s wine label is inscribed with an ancient apothecary weight bearing the seasonal symbols of alchemy. This Old-World instrument of precise measure expresses the family’s ardent determination to craft extraordinary wine authentic to its unique terroir.


For more about Pulido~Walker, please visit:

For more about Casa Piena, please visit:


Media contact:  Judy Rowcliffe – 415-456-4131/415-606-4355 -


Antonio Galloni's Vinous: 96 Points !

Antonio Galloni's Vinous: 96 Points ! cover thumbnail

2016 Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvginon
Drinking window: 2020 - 2031

Casa Piena's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has turned out beautifully. I can't remember tasting a vintage of Casa Piena with this much finesse, nuance and pure class. Silky tannins let the fruit shine in this delicious, compelling Cabernet from Carmen Policy and Casa Piena. The 2016 is not especially complex, but it scores very high on the pleasure scale.

 Antonio Galloni

Napa's Top Gun Thomas Rivers Brown

Napa's Top Gun Thomas Rivers Brown cover thumbnail

The Midas Touch of Thomas Rivers Brown.
Over two decades, this self-taught winemaker has made an indelible impact on California wine.
by James Laube

"...Brown’s high-profile clients include former NFL executive Carmen Policy (right), owner of Casa Piena, a Cabernet Sauvignon specialist based in Napa's Yountville district for whom Brown has made seven outstanding wines among nine vintages..."

Antonio Galloni's Vinous: 94+ Points

Antonio Galloni's Vinous: 94+ Points cover

2013 Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvginon
Drinking window: 2018 - 2030

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Casa Piena is just as impressive as it has always been. Rich, ample and powerful, the 2013 exudes class. Sweet tobacco, herbs, menthol and licorice wrap around a core of intense red fruit. The flavors are bright, vibrant and intense throughout, but my sense is that the 2014 is still improving. This is a terrific showing from Casa Piena and winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.

 Antonio Galloni