Club Cabernet

April 2018


April 6, 2018 Dear Cabernet Aficionado, The pruning is complete and the vines are starting to push new spring buds and leaves. I love this time of year as we begin to anticipate what the season may have to offer us. While I can see burn scars on the hills to the east and the west of our Nickel & Nickel winery, the vibrant new growth makes the fire seem like a distant memory. The good news is that the 2017 growing season was particularly warm and gave us beautiful fruit that showed full maturity by late September and early October. The wines are now in barrel and will be ready to evaluate and enjoy at our Futures Barrel Tasting event in May. For this shipment, we have shifted gears to 2015. These are the first wines from this vintage, and we are excited to share them with our Club Cabernet members before their official release. Collectively, they tell the story of the incredible depth and diversity of our Napa Valley soils. As a contrast to the distinctive personalities of these single-vineyard wines, we are also sending you the 2015 Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon. As a whole, the 2015 vintage gave us wines that show forward fruit, plush textures and supple tannins.  The vintage is especially small, which makes us even more excited to get them to you in your spring shipment. Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


April 6, 2018 Dear Cabernet Aficionado, The pruning is complete and the vines are starting to push new spring buds and leaves. I love this time of year as we begin to anticipate what the season may have to offer us. While I can see burn scars on the hills to the east and the west of our Nickel & Nickel winery, the vibrant new growth makes the fire seem like a distant memory. The good news is that the 2017 growing season was particularly warm and gave us beautiful fruit that showed full maturity by late September and early October. The wines are now in barrel and will be ready to evaluate and enjoy at our Futures Barrel Tasting event in May. For this shipment, we have shifted gears to 2015. These are the first wines from this vintage, and we are excited to share them with our Club Cabernet members before their official release. Collectively, they tell the story of the incredible depth and diversity of our Napa Valley soils. As a contrast to the distinctive personalities of these single-vineyard wines, we are also sending you the 2015 Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon. As a whole, the 2015 vintage gave us wines that show forward fruit, plush textures and supple tannins.  The vintage is especially small, which makes us even more excited to get them to you in your spring shipment. Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


2015 Nickel & Nickel
Dragonfly Vineyard® Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The diminutive, four–acre Dragonfly Vineyard is located in St. Helena at the base of Spring Mountain. Old timers know this magical place as a “banana belt” microclimate, as its ideal summer temperatures allow the vines to develop their notable ripe and jammy fruit. The vines benefit from the site’s deep, gravelly loam soils and gentle southern exposure, and the vineyard is one of the first to be harvested each year.

Sensory Evaluation

A beautiful raspberry and vanilla perfume lifts from the glass, while strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavors unfold on the palate. The 2015 vintage is supple and jammy with warm spicy notes and polished tannins that progress throughout the wine and integrate beautifully with elegant French oak. The finish is long and seductive.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 50% new
  • 50% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 14, 2015

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2015 Nickel & Nickel
Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Hayne Vineyard is situated in St. Helena at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains and is well known for its single vineyard wines from the site. The vines are small to moderate in size due to the gravelly, loam soils and the vineyard produces small yields. The warm St. Helena temperatures are ideal for producing sweet, jammy fruit and this vineyard tends to be picked at the beginning of harvest each year.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2015 Hayne Cabernet Sauvignon is a show–stopper. The concentration of this vintage is revealed as mixed berry aromas combine with graphite, vanilla and toast to excite the senses. The palate offers candied flavors of raspberry, cherry and plum wrapped up with hints of dust and spice. A coating texture unites these flavors creating a package that is rich from start to finish.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 51% new
  • 49% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 9 – 10, 2015

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2015 Bella Union
Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Located in Rutherford along Bella Oaks Lane—hallowed ground for Napa Valley Cabernet—the 25–acre Bella Union Vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small portion devoted to Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This western bench location offers an ideal combination of cool evenings and warm afternoons, which, in turn, allows the grapes to ripen fully and evenly. The site’s well–draining, gravelly loam soil plays an equally important role, contributing to the signature character of the vineyard. The fruit is intense, beautifully proportioned and complex with aromatic ripe plum, black cherry and currant flavors.

Sensory Evaluation

Inviting aromas of black cherry, dark plum, blueberry and cassis shine with hints of vanilla bean and fresh baking spices. Rich flavors of juicy plum, black cherry and blueberry expand on the midpalate followed by a layered progression of warm toasty oak, cinnamon, baking spices and nutmeg. Supple integrated tannins and bright acidity prompt a mouthwatering finish.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 60% new
  • 40% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 9 – 23, 2015

Winemaker

Megan Melief

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


2011 Nickel & Nickel
Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Hayne Vineyard is situated in St. Helena at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains and is well known for its single vineyard wines from the site. The vines are small to moderate in size due to the gravelly, loam soils and the vineyard produces small yields. The warm St. Helena temperatures are ideal for producing sweet, jammy fruit and this vineyard tends to be picked at the beginning of harvest each year.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2011 Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of berry, vanilla and spice. On the palate, a nice combination of cherry and wild berry fruit is married with an enchanting mix of vanilla and herb. Toasty oak adds an intriguing nuance to the flavors, while the texture is round and soft. This wine is remarkably balanced and shows beautifully, even in its youth.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 13 – 15, 2011

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2011 Nickel & Nickel
Sori Bricco Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

High in the hills of Diamond Mountain, Sori Bricco spans a wide range of hillsides with different sun exposures resulting in separate harvest dates across the ranch. The soil is composed of a sandy, gravelly loam and the vines tend to be very small as they struggle against the slopes. The climate is very warm in the early spring and these vines are among the first to bud each year. The warm summer months produce nice, juicy flavors, while the cooler nights offer long hang time to gain tannin maturity each season. Nickel & Nickel produces wine from about six acres of this 25–acre vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

This first release of the 2011 Sori Bricco Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly what one would expect from Napa Valley’s Diamond Mountain District. This powerful wine opens with aromas of plum and white flowers. Plum flavors are mirrored upon entry, with notes of tobacco and cedar enhanced by a distinct minerality. Rich, briary fruit is paired nicely with the toasty French oak, adding warmth to the middle palate. The tannins from this vintage are full bodied, rich and supple, which promises increasing complexity with a few years of bottle aging.


Appellation

Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 45% new
  • 55% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 17, 2011

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2011 Nickel & Nickel
Copper Streak Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Stags Leap District, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Copper Streak Vineyard is located in a protected hollow at the base of the palisades in Stags Leap District. The soils are composed of Perkins gravelly loam mixed with red, copper–like streaks, which is how the vineyard got its name. The vines receive a western exposure and are of moderate size, yielding loose clusters with small berries. The climate in Stags Leap is very warm; however, mid afternoon breezes sweep in to cool things down, allowing for excellent ripening. Nickel & Nickel Copper Streak Cabernet is produced from seven of the vineyard’s 30 acres.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2011 Copper Streak offers one of the richest textures of the vintage. Aromas of blackberry and cedar lend way to dark fruit flavors of berry and cassis which blend nicely with notes of chocolate, tobacco and herbs. The middle palate is dense with rich flavors, depth and complexity. This wine is beautifully focused now, yet will reward those with the patience to allow a few years in the cellar.


Appellation

Stags Leap District, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 17, 2011

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2011 Nickel & Nickel
Quarry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Quarry Vineyard climbs the slopes above the Silverado Trail on the east side of Rutherford. The name comes from the old quarry that was the source of a white rock used in the ghost winery that still stands beside the vineyard. Three distinct hillside blocks, each experiencing its own unique soil and exposure, are harvested from this vineyard. The white, rocky loam soils are well drained, and the vines are of moderate vigor. Cluster and berry size varies from block to block, but all are small to moderate. This vineyard has full exposure to the afternoon sun.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2011 Quarry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon always offers an intriguing combination of flavors, and this vintage is no exception. Its aromas of cherry, dried herb, and tobacco are reflected in the flavors on the palate, with additional earth and mineral notes. Toasty French oak adds vanilla and char components which blend gracefully with the fruit. A soft and supple texture makes this wine approachable now, but the complex flavors will only enhance with age.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 52% new
  • 48% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 15 – 16, 2011

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson