St. Helena

St. Helena AVA gained status as an AVA in 1993 and is a sub-appellation of the Napa Valley AVA. The AVA is situated on 9,000 acres and is centered on the town of St. Helena, California. St. Helena is Napa Valley's northernmost AVA and sits between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. The soils of the region are sedimentary, gravel-clay soils, with lower fertility and moderate water retention The location, means the region is isolated from the cool ocean breezes and fog that is prevalent in the southern valleys. These conditions make for bright sunny days with radiating heat off the mountains and full-bodied wines that are fruit forward and jammy. The featured wines of the region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Zinfandel.

Map of the St. Helena AVA

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2011 Sabina Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
$ 125.00

Winemaker Tasting Notes

This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and concentrated with well-defined acidity and lush tannins. Dark cherry, currant, and blackberry abound in the aroma, followed by a chocolate, herbal flavor profile wrapped in cassis and black cherry. The blend of vibrant fruit and earthy notes are made complete with a long finish and smooth, lingering tannins. This wine is amazingly approachable now and will age gracefully for a solid 10+ years.

Winemaker Notes

Just like other growers in the Napa Valley during the 2011 harvest season, Sabina Vineyards also had to wait out the rains and time out the grape picking dates just right. The Estate Vineyard was harvested on 2 separate days allowing both lots to have slightly different flavor profiles which was an advantage when making the final blend.

Vineyard Notes

What began with a wet winter and spring, continued with rainfall into mid-June with few high heat events occurring at any point during the growing season. The cool weather delayed bloom and the cloud cover and cool temperatures delayed vine development by several weeks at the onset of the growing season. This set the stage for a long and cooler-than-average growing season with a later-than-average harvest start date.

Waiting patiently to pick until the fruit was mature paid off. Quality was very good with excellent structure and length on the palate. While quantity was somewhat lower than usual, the fruit harvested in 2011 made for well-balanced wines with good intensity, structure and texture with a brightness of flavor.


2013 Playground Cellars Playground Proprietary Red
$ 48.00

Only 25 cases available!!! This has been the find of the year.  85% St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Oak Knoll Merlot.  We keep hearing the same reaction from people when tasting this amazing wine from the barrel “I want to drink all of this now”.

Tasting Notes

Blackberry all the way with leather and violets living in harmony. A faint hint of orange blossom points to the fresh fruit while the tannins showcase the French Oak

Vintage: 2013
Varietal(s): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
Appellation: Napa Valley (St. Helena/Oak Knoll)
Alc: 14.8%

Limited Production 25 cases