Club Cabernet

October 2018


October 2018 Dear Cabernet Enthusiast, After a fantastic growing season, we are finally into the time of year that I adore most: Harvest. It is when all the work in the vineyards literally bears fruit and the winery is brought to life. While we are busy bringing another vintage into the winery, we are excited to share with our Cabernet lovers selections from our 2015 Nickel & Nickel vintage. It’s a stunning – and extremely limited – vintage that will age beautifully . . . though you won’t go wrong pulling the cork on any of these now. Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


October 2018 Dear Cabernet Enthusiast, After a fantastic growing season, we are finally into the time of year that I adore most: Harvest. It is when all the work in the vineyards literally bears fruit and the winery is brought to life. While we are busy bringing another vintage into the winery, we are excited to share with our Cabernet lovers selections from our 2015 Nickel & Nickel vintage. It’s a stunning – and extremely limited – vintage that will age beautifully . . . though you won’t go wrong pulling the cork on any of these now. Cheers,

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


2015 Nickel & Nickel
Rock Cairn Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Planted in 1984, Rock Cairn Vineyard lies near the southern edge of the Oakville appellation, east of Highway 29 and north of the town of Yountville. The 30-acre vineyard is named for the “cairns,” or piles of rocks, that were formed long ago when Indians traversed the hills and would place a rock on the pile as an offering for safe passage. The site is comprised of deep, gravelly loam with a western exposure, and the vines produce very concentrated fruit late in the season. Nickel & Nickel selects grapes from nine acres of the vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

Packed with fruit intensity, the 2015 Rock Cairn shows a rich concentration that is the hallmark of this small, scarce vintage. Bright black cherry, earth and toasted oak aromas open the wine, while deep black cherry and plum flavors fill the palate. An undercurrent of succulent herb adds complexity, while beautifully integrated tannins carry the rich fruit flavors into a long, gentle finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 53% new
  • 47% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 12, 2015

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2015 Nickel & Nickel
John C. Sullenger Vineyard® Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The home vineyard of Nickel & Nickel, Sullenger Vineyard is situated behind the winery in the heart of Oakville and is named for John C. Sullenger, who settled the farmstead in the 1880’s. The vineyard’s 30 acres of clay loam soil are planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon, with 2 rootstocks and a few different clones which each add a unique element to the resulting wine.

Sensory Evaluation

With its floral aromas mixed with plum and olive, the 2015 John C. Sullenger Cabernet Sauvignon blends juicy and savory notes into an impossible-to-resist perfume. On the palate, dark flavors of black cherry, tobacco, anise and toast are accentuated by a lively yet balanced acidity. These flavors are carried by a rich core of tannins that build on the middle palate, carrying the fruit into a long finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 47% new
  • 53% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 14–24, 2015

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2015 Nickel & Nickel
Quarry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The 25-acre 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

Fruit-forward yet savory, the 2015 Quarry Vineyard marries notes of blackberry and black cherry with hints of tapenade and spicy cigar box both on the nose and palate. A generous swirl of the glass reveals a rich depth of aromas and flavors, all supported by long, coating tannins.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 57% new
  • 43% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 15–24, 2015

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


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% Merlot
1% Petit Verdot

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 69% new
  • 31% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 13 – October 12, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2013 Nickel & Nickel
Beatty Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Howell Mountain, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Located atop Howell Mountain, Beatty Ranch typically gets to enjoy the warmth of the sun when summer fog lines the valley floor. While the fruit ripens easily, we must wait for mature tannins to emerge. The red, rocky soils are ideal to produce moderate-sized vines, and this vineyard is comprised of four different clones that each provide a unique flavor profile to the overall wine.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2013 Beatty Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon offers beautiful aromas of cassis and tapenade. This wine has a forward ripeness filled with exotic flavors of cassis, green olive, basil and pepper. This rich flavor profile is in harmony with plush, coating tannins that expand through the middle palate to offer a finely contoured finish.


Appellation

Howell Mountain, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 15-23, 2013

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2011 Nickel & Nickel
Kelham Vineyard 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 seven 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

Exotic aromas of earth, herb and tar 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 lovely toast and char component which complements the fruit, while rounded tannins allow this wine to be enjoyed earlier than 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