Club Cabernet

February 2019


February 2019 Dear Cabernet Lover, With the start of another year, we return to the winery and vineyards with great enthusiasm as we prepare for the next vintage— from the meticulous manicuring of our vines, to the thoughtful care of our vintages aging gracefully in barrel. With the new year, we are also excited to share with you new wines! We invite you to enjoy a selection of Cabernet Sauvignons from the already acclaimed 2016 vintage. The distinctive personalities of these special wines are represented in each bottle, and with each sip we invite you to discover their elegant nuances. These specially chosen selections included reflect our diligence to our craft, vintage after vintage. We hope you enjoy these wines as much as we do! Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking Emeritus


February 2019 Dear Cabernet Lover, With the start of another year, we return to the winery and vineyards with great enthusiasm as we prepare for the next vintage— from the meticulous manicuring of our vines, to the thoughtful care of our vintages aging gracefully in barrel. With the new year, we are also excited to share with you new wines! We invite you to enjoy a selection of Cabernet Sauvignons from the already acclaimed 2016 vintage. The distinctive personalities of these special wines are represented in each bottle, and with each sip we invite you to discover their elegant nuances. These specially chosen selections included reflect our diligence to our craft, vintage after vintage. We hope you enjoy these wines as much as we do! Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking Emeritus


2016 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 2016 C.C. Ranch Cabernet opens with a harmonious blend of delicate floral and potpourri notes alongside aromas of ripe cherry, plum, and dried herbs. The entry is bright and lively, loaded with spicy red berry flavors and warm, seductive notes of tobacco leaf. The bright, lingering finish is both refreshing and youthful, while firm tannins suggest the wine will only grow more nuanced with extended aging.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 16 – October 1, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 Nickel & Nickel
State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Yountville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

State Ranch is located northeast of the town of Yountville. The 23-acre vineyard is divided into two parcels by State Lane Road and consists of both older and younger vines. Many excellent wines are produced from this area, in part due to the rocky, loam soil which has excellent drainage throughout the year. The vines, as well as the clusters, are moderate in size and the vineyard gets full sun throughout the day. As the young vines mature, we will be harvesting many different clones to make the final wine. Nickel & Nickel selects fruit from 11 acres of the vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

Richly perfumed with notes of warm summer plum, black cherry and hints of wet slate, the 2016 State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is lush and expressive on the nose and the palate. Layered fruit flavors accented by notes of cedar and clove add depth to the palate while supple tannins provide support and length. The result is a wine of incredible elegance and complexity.


Appellation

Yountville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 29 – October 9, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 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

Beautiful aromas of blackberry and boysenberry pie, cassis, licorice and sweet anise, pair gorgeously with hints of lightly toasted oak. A silky entry transitions to a very smooth midpalate with flavors of mixed berry fruit, light toasted oak, and sweet licorice. Well-structured and polished, this wine is filled with juicy acid and fine grain tannins that melt into a long mouthwatering finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 71% new
  • 29% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 21 – October 12, 2016

Winemaker

Nicole Marchesi

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


2011 Nickel & Nickel
Kelham Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Kelham Vineyard is a 52-acre planting located at the base of the western hills of Oakville. Nickel & Nickel receives fruit from 7 acres planted to rootstocks which offer slightly different nuances to the blend. The soil is comprised of a well-drained, clay loam, which produces vines and clusters of moderate size. Some canopy management is performed to allow speckled light on the grapes which, combined with Oakville’s warm climate, is perfect for slowly ripening the fruit.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2011 Kelham Cabernet Sauvignon will be our last release from this vineyard so this wine will sell out quickly.  This wine has exotic aromas of earth, herb and tar that continue to evolve in the glass.  On the palate, this wine opens with wild berry fruits, herbs, tobacco, and pepper.  The French oak adds a nice toast and char component to the wine that complements the fruit, while the round tannins allow one to open this bottle earlier than is normal for this vineyard.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 47% new
  • 53% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 21 – 24, 2011

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

This vineyard’s small berries offer a lot of intensity, and this wine is rich in flavor. The 2012 Copper Streak Cabernet Sauvignon offers a perfume of currant and cassis blended with an intriguing minerality. The palate explodes with cassis, chocolate, tobacco and herbs. The middle palate is thick and coating and the wine seems to expand as the velvety, yet firm, tannins 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

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 Bella Union
Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Bella Union was founded by the partners of Far Niente to specialize in the art of blending Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  The cornerstone of the blend is our 25-acre vineyard in Rutherford, along Bella Oaks Lane, a country road that was historically called Bella Union.  The vineyard is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon in well-drained loam, and the vines range from 20 – 30 years of age.  Classic varietals of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot sourced from select Napa Valley vineyards complete the blend.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2016 Bella Union opens with inviting aromas of black cherry, dark plum, blueberry, and cassis with intimations of warm, toasty oak, vanilla, and baking spices.  Expansive, fruit-forward plum, black cherry and blueberry flavors coat the midpalate, followed by notes of toasted oak, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Supple tannins and bright acidity pave the way to a mouthwatering finish.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 69% new
  • 31% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 13 – October 12, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 EnRoute
"Les Pommiers" Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley

Vineyard Description

Our Northern Spy Vineyard in Russian River Valley’s Green Valley AVA was an abandoned apple orchard that was groomed specifically for EnRoute. We are thrilled with the quality of the fruit coming from this site, which grows on the region’s famous Goldridge soils. Pommard 5, Mt. Eden, Swan, 2A and Dijon clones 115 and 777 are planted on 101-14 rootstock with 4 x 7 spacing in this vineyard. Our Amber Ridge Vineyard is located on rolling terrain in the upper Middle Reach area of the Russian River Valley. Planted with bilateral vertical trellising, the clonal mix includes Pommard 5, Calera and Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777 using 101-14 rootstock to limit vigor. Manzana Vineyard continues to play an important role in the Les Pommiers blend, with its hillside fruit planted in Green Valley to Dijon clones 114, 115 and Pommard 5.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2016 EnRoute Les Pommiers possesses the luxurious perfume aromatics and rich textures that we love about Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. On the nose, aromas of ripe cherry and plum are complemented by notes of earth, sage and forest floor. Generous-yet-soft red-fruit flavors expand on the palate, with elegant tannins that are the definition of silky. A mouthwatering natural acidity glides across the finish, making this vintage irresistibly approachable upon release.


Appellation

Russian River Valley

Varietal

100% Pinot Noir

Aging

11 months in French oak barrels

  • 40% new
  • 60% neutral

Harvest Dates

August 14 – September 15, 2016

Winemaker

Andrew Delos

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson