91 Insider Points


The 2006 Pinot Noir from Olivia Brion has a fe years under its belt but is still showing juicy fruit and an easy going palate.  Definitely showing signs of age, but with good balance between the lush fruit, integrated fine grain tannin and red berry acidity.  Enjoy now through 2018. - DZ Feb 2017

    Pinot Noir
  • SIZE

Faster than a locomotive. More lovely than a spring day. Sought after by Charles Chaplin and Paul Gaugin. This homage to the suffragette descendent of a great French wine family, Miss Olivia Brion, is beautiful and rebellious.

Five miles east of the town of Napa, Heron Lake Vineyard is a cool and breezy respite from the heat of Napa Valley. The fresh west winds from the San Pablo and Suisun bays cool these 40 acres planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And while wild horses once kicked up their hooves in these quiet hills, the land is now home to less rambunctious tenants: wine growers.

From Winemaker David Mahaffey, the 2006 Miss Olivia Brion Pinot Noir is both elegant and exuberant. The signature grape of Burgundy is racy, with black cherry and plum flavors flexing their muscle along with a backbone of spiced vanilla and crushed whetstone. Age has done this sophisticated beauty many favors, bringing flavors of earth, leather, and mushroom to the fold.

Enjoy a little rebellion in each glass, three cheers for Miss Olivia Brion!


Bright and focused with intense cherry, incense and spice aromas introduce this vivid juicy pinot. Raspberry, earth, vanilla, and toast follow on, driving this to a long, expansive finish. Needs a little air to open to its full aromatics. Slightly more savory and earthy than some vintages. This mountain grown Pinot will have a very long life!


Heron Lake Vineyard is in the south end of Wild Horse Valley, 1,200 feet higher than the Napa Valley floor and five miles east of Napa town. Wild horses frolicked in the cool climate of Wild Horse Valley in the 19th century, but since then the area has been the home of a gentler breed: grape growers. Grapes were first grown there by Joseph Volpe and Constantino Malandrino, who planted in the 1880's.

Today, the 3,300-acre valley has just about 40 acres of vines in two vineyard operations. Wild Horse Valley is a distinct viticultural appellation: while Napa Valley has hot summer afternoons, Wild Horse's proximity to the San Pablo and Suisun bays exposes it to cool westerly winds. That weather, along with the rocky volcanic soil, results in small yields and fruit of great color, intensity and minerality.


Sip this alongside beef bourguignon, veal chop with Portobello mushrooms, Caesar salad, or seared scallops in truffle oil.