Club Cabernet

December 2017


December 1, 2017 Dear Cabernet Aficionado, The holidays are here. It is snowing in the mountains (which makes me smile). It's the season for decadent wine dinners and gathering around the fireplace with loved ones and great wines. As a member, you already know that Cabernet and friends go together.  One of my great friends, Barry, woke me up to the fact that my friends are excited when I stick to giving them wine as holiday gifts. He pointed out that they love our wines, our wineries, and our people. And that they put up with me. [With friends like these] I don’t have to shop and they don’t have to figure out how to “re-gift” what I give them. While my membership in our wine club was a gift to myself (Yes, I'm an actual club member! I like receiving and unpacking each shipment.), my wife and I have taken the lesson to heart and love finding wines for friends, family and the others that touch our lives. The best part is that we like choosing the wines, they enjoy sharing the wine, and they anticipate what bottles might show up for the next birthday, holiday or occasion for celebration. It is a life hack that is fun. In the end, wine is about sharing and connecting. Cabernet is what I reach for with the cooler weather and comforting dishes of winter. I trust and hope that these wines will be a part of joyful times around the table for you and yours. With best wishes from all of us,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


December 1, 2017 Dear Cabernet Aficionado, The holidays are here. It is snowing in the mountains (which makes me smile). It's the season for decadent wine dinners and gathering around the fireplace with loved ones and great wines. As a member, you already know that Cabernet and friends go together.  One of my great friends, Barry, woke me up to the fact that my friends are excited when I stick to giving them wine as holiday gifts. He pointed out that they love our wines, our wineries, and our people. And that they put up with me. [With friends like these] I don’t have to shop and they don’t have to figure out how to “re-gift” what I give them. While my membership in our wine club was a gift to myself (Yes, I'm an actual club member! I like receiving and unpacking each shipment.), my wife and I have taken the lesson to heart and love finding wines for friends, family and the others that touch our lives. The best part is that we like choosing the wines, they enjoy sharing the wine, and they anticipate what bottles might show up for the next birthday, holiday or occasion for celebration. It is a life hack that is fun. In the end, wine is about sharing and connecting. Cabernet is what I reach for with the cooler weather and comforting dishes of winter. I trust and hope that these wines will be a part of joyful times around the table for you and yours. With best wishes from all of us,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


2014 Nickel & Nickel
Martin Stelling Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Martin Stelling Vineyard is located at the base of the western hills in Oakville and is the primary vineyard for Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. Nickel & Nickel is fortunate to farm two acres of this vineyard. The soils are composed of deep volcanic loam with underlying clay and gravel.

Sensory Evaluation

Powerful and expansive, the 2014 Martin Stelling Vineyard Cabernet has all the exceptional qualities that we associate with this iconic vineyard. Blackberry and cassis harmonize with flavors of melted chocolate, vanilla and ground spice. French oak adds warmth and texture to the midpalate. Classically elegant with beautiful structure and complexity, the wine’s silky tannins marry with the oak, creating rich layers that continue into a long and seductive finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 65% new
  • 35% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 7, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 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. Mid-afternoon breezes, however, sweep in to cool things down, allowing for excellent ripening. We produce wine from seven of the vineyard’s 30 acres.

Sensory Evaluation

Captivating dark fruit and luxurious texture define this Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage opens with aromas of red pomegranate and toasted oak. Beautifully balanced flavors of boysenberry, cassis, herbs and earth are enhanced by the wine’s natural acidity. Smooth and plush, the flavors linger on a solid core of tannin, making this a wine to be enjoyed now or cellared for over a decade.


Appellation

Stags Leap District, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 58% new
  • 42% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 24, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 Nickel & Nickel
Quicksilver Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Quicksilver Vineyard lies on the western Rutherford bench, in the acclaimed area on Bella Oaks Lane. The soils are predominantly well drained loams that produce vines of moderate size. These older vines were planted to the California sprawl system, with wider spacing and a divided canopy, giving great exposure to the fruit. Minimal irrigation is needed to obtain maximum fruit potential.

Sensory Evaluation

Strikingly fruit forward, the 2014 Quicksilver Cabernet Sauvignon opens with exuberant aromas of plum, cherry, raspberry and cedar. Juicy, red fruit flavors blend elegantly with subtle notes of red licorice, geranium, black tea and dust. This medley of sweet fruit and spice make this wine appealing, while the elegant and coating texture carries these flavors into a long, supple finish.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 55% new
  • 45% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 2 – 6, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


2012 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

The 2012 Dragonfly Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has floral and berry aromas that jump from the glass, and violet and rose petal blend with juicy strawberry and wild raspberry flavors. This wine is elegant and silky with jammy berry fruits wound tightly in a plush texture. The French oak adds warmth and highlights the fruit nicely, while the soft tannins offer superb texture from first sip through an incredibly supple finish.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 51% new
  • 49% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 8 – 15, 2012

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2012 Nickel & Nickel
Element 28 Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Element 28 is named by the owner of the vineyard, Erik Nickel, who ingeniously came up with the name Element 28 – “nickel” on the periodic table. Located high in the hills across from Lake Hennessey, this vineyard has a western exposure and is comprised of shallow, gravelly loam soils that produce small vines with loose clusters and small berries. Three different clones offer a variety of concentrated fruit flavors that come together to produce a stunning hillside wine.

Sensory Evaluation

This first release of the Element 28 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a perfume of blueberries and boysenberries mixed with an underlying aroma of cedar and spice. Flavors of chocolate-covered berries fill the palate with an underlying minerality. This wine is packed with flavor, juicy and succulent, but is firm from the low yielding vines. The big, mouth-filling tannins will develop with some patience in the bottle. For those who enjoy full-bodied Cabernets, this is the perfect wine for you.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 55% new
  • 45% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 21, 2012

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2012 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 2012 Copper Streak Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon offers a perfume of currant and cassis blended with an intriguing minerality. The palate bursts with notes of cassis, chocolate, tobacco and herbs. The middle palate is thick and coating, with velvety, firm tannins that carry the fruit flavors into a long and lingering finish. This wine will continue to evolve with a little patience in the bottle and can easily be cellared until 2025.


Appellation

Stags Leap District, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 51% new
  • 49% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 15, 2012

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson