Club Cabernet

February 2018


February 9, 2018 Dear Cabernet Aficionado, If the groundhog has his way, we'll be enjoying another six weeks of winter this year. Although we are already seeing the first signs of spring mustard in our vineyards, I confess I wouldn't mind a few more cold winter evenings spent manning the stove and preparing rich, indulgent comfort food. Last weekend I took over in the kitchen (which shows unwarranted trust by my wife). What did I make? Bouef Bourguignon.  This traditional French beef stew was a favorite of Julia Child's and it's one of our house favorites, too. It is comfort food that slowly cooks in the oven while infusing the entire house with the most distracting, mouthwatering aromas. It paired perfectly with the rich fruit flavors and elegant perfume of the library vintage of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon we opened on Saturday night. It is indeed the season for hearty winter cooking, a crackling fire in the fireplace and a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet. Your own wine club shipment has your first look at the 2015 Cabernet vintage with Far Niente’s Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a year with a tiny crop that yielded rich, dark fruit flavors and great depth. It's a very romantic wine, should you need something exquisite to complement your Valentine's Day plans.  In fact, all of the Napa Valley Cabernets headed your way were crafted with passion and promise. You won't go wrong with any of them. Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


February 9, 2018 Dear Cabernet Aficionado, If the groundhog has his way, we'll be enjoying another six weeks of winter this year. Although we are already seeing the first signs of spring mustard in our vineyards, I confess I wouldn't mind a few more cold winter evenings spent manning the stove and preparing rich, indulgent comfort food. Last weekend I took over in the kitchen (which shows unwarranted trust by my wife). What did I make? Bouef Bourguignon.  This traditional French beef stew was a favorite of Julia Child's and it's one of our house favorites, too. It is comfort food that slowly cooks in the oven while infusing the entire house with the most distracting, mouthwatering aromas. It paired perfectly with the rich fruit flavors and elegant perfume of the library vintage of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon we opened on Saturday night. It is indeed the season for hearty winter cooking, a crackling fire in the fireplace and a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet. Your own wine club shipment has your first look at the 2015 Cabernet vintage with Far Niente’s Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a year with a tiny crop that yielded rich, dark fruit flavors and great depth. It's a very romantic wine, should you need something exquisite to complement your Valentine's Day plans.  In fact, all of the Napa Valley Cabernets headed your way were crafted with passion and promise. You won't go wrong with any of them. Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


2015 Far Niente
Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Martin Stelling Vineyard, located behind the winery in Oakville, is the cornerstone of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted on some of the most beautiful, gravelly loam soil in the Napa Valley, the vineyard uniformly produces wines with supple tannins, bright, forward fruit, and beautiful tannin structure.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2015 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon has deep concentrated aromas of chocolate–covered cherries alongside bright floral notes. The entry of this wine is juicy with a silky-smooth texture that builds through the mid–palate. Mouthwatering dark cherry flavors are supported with well-integrated oak. This wine is an excellent balance of lush, mouth–filling tannins and bright, fresh acidity on the finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot

Aging

17 months sur lie in French oak

  • 70% new
  • 30% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 12 — October 1, 2015

Winemaker

Nicole Marchesi

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 Nickel & Nickel
C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

C.C. Ranch is planted in Rutherford, along the slope of a knoll west of the Silverado Trail. The vineyard grows classic Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon on well–drained, gravelly loam soil and receives a variety of exposures, depending on the block and location. The vines are well balanced and the canopy is opened up to give good light exposure. Nickel & Nickel produces wine from 15 select acres of this 115–acre vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2014 C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is bursting with opulent flavors of red raspberry and ripe cherry, baking spice and dust. Hints of floral and pencil lead add dimension to the wine’s profile while refined tannins liven the palate. Vibrant acidity supports the fruit, making it enjoyable while young. Careful aging will allow hidden flavors to evolve over time.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 57% new
  • 43% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 12 – 27, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 Nickel & Nickel
Branding Iron Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Named for the branding iron owned by the proprietor, the eight–and–a–half acre Branding Iron Vineyard lies in western Oakville, close to the base of the Mayacamas Mountains. The vineyard is comprised of well–drained clay loam and the vines are vertically trellised to maximize sunlight and open the canopy. The area’s warm climate and sun exposure in both the morning and afternoon are perfect for slowly ripening the fruit, which often benefits from a long hang time.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2014 Branding Iron Cabernet Sauvignon invites with aromas of mixed berries, floral notes and earth. Juicy raspberry and blackberry fruits meld with subtle clove and spice. Warm, toasty oak enriches the wine and accentuates its round mouthfeel, but dominant fruit lingers on the palate from start to finish as the soft tannins add harmony and grace.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 55% new
  • 45% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 30 – October 11, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


2013 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

The 2013 Element 28 Cabernet Sauvignon showcases the best qualities of a hillside wine. A beautiful bouquet of blueberries and cassis precede a palate filled with a medley of boysenberries, violets, earth, stone and cedar. This is a big, juicy wine with astounding fruit and depth of flavor, perfectly in balance with a firm core. This wine needs some time to resolve, but is certain to be a showstopper for many years to come.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 50% new
  • 50% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 8, 2013

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 Nickel & Nickel
Sorri 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

Elegant and complex with concentrated red fruit, the 2014 Sori Bricco Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon opens with inviting aromas of rose petal, mineral and candied fruit. Ripe cherry and red currant flavors are predominant upon the first sip, while notes of crushed granite surround vanilla and spicy oak. Balanced acidity makes this wine juicy, while tannins from this hillside location yield the framework for a wine with great longevity.


Appellation

Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 53% new
  • 47% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 19 – 27, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 Nickel & Nickel
Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The 43-acre Tench Vineyard is situated on the eastern edge of Oakville along the Silverado Trail. The area’s red, rocky soils of clay and volcanic rock have produced many famous Napa Valley Cabernets. Nickel & Nickel produces Cabernet from just nine acres of this late-ripening vineyard with northwest exposure. The grapes rapidly develop color and flavor as temperatures rise and harvest approaches.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2014 Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon exudes dark berry flavors with a hint of fresh blueberry, which defines this special site. A mouthwatering entry coats the palate, while the flavor and texture are complemented by restrained oak. Ultimately, the tannins dissolve, leaving an impression of resolution and completeness.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 55% new
  • 45% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 29 – October 2, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson