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Name That Cult Wine at The Firehouse


Posted on September 30

Mario Ortiz and Paul Marsh
Mario Ortiz and Paul Marsh Photography by Gabriel Teague

The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sac will begin selling its first “house” wine this month: a $135 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon made from a blend of California cult wines. The restaurant’s wine director, Mario Ortiz, and its sommelier, Paul Marsh, spent a year creating The Firehouse No. 3 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, a proprietary blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Six of the seven wines that make up the supersecret blend are so-called “cult wines”—expensive, limited-production wines that are highly prized by collectors. When I met with them, Ortiz and Marsh refused to name the wines, but they did drop a hint: All are represented on The Firehouse’s impressive wine list. Fishing for info, I threw out a name: Screaming Eagle? No, said Marsh with an enigmatic smile, “but it might be a neighbor.” Hmm. Could The Firehouse No. 3 inspire a guessing game for local oenophiles? “That would be great,” said Marsh.