Single Vineyard Club

March 2018


Dear Single Vineyard Enthusiast, As winemakers we are constantly juggling multiple vintages at a time. In fact, as we prepare to send you this shipment, we are finishing up the pruning, which to me truly marks the start of the 2018 vintage. The bright yellow mustard has been exceptional this year, but it’s now being mowed to decrease the seasonal risk of frost damage. As the 2018 growing season officially kicks into high gear, we are simultaneously evaluating all of the lots in barrel from our most recent vintage, 2017 (If you’re planning on attending our annual Futures event in May, you’ll be among the first to taste them!). We have some exciting new Single-Vineyard Wines with the 2017 vintage, and Darice is being extra attentive to them. It always takes time to understand a new single vineyard site and its resulting wines that process of discovery is incredibly exciting. In addition to the 2018 growing season and the 2017 barrel evaluations, we are also preparing the 2016 Nickel & Nickel Cabernets for bottling. We have very exacting bottling standards, and each of our Single-Vineyard Cabernets requires specific care and attention. And last but certainly not least, we are sending some extraordinary 2014 Cabernets as well as some of the first wines from the extremely limited 2015 vintage to you! For me, it is almost like time travel, anticipating a new vintage while pulling the cork on wines we’ve carefully aged in barrel and bottle for the past three to four years. Each year teaches us something new. It never gets old! Sharing these wines with our Single Vineyard Members never gets old either. As we wait for the first spring budbreak in our vineyards, I’m excited to get these special bottles into your hands. Best Wishes,  

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


Dear Single Vineyard Enthusiast, As winemakers we are constantly juggling multiple vintages at a time. In fact, as we prepare to send you this shipment, we are finishing up the pruning, which to me truly marks the start of the 2018 vintage. The bright yellow mustard has been exceptional this year, but it’s now being mowed to decrease the seasonal risk of frost damage. As the 2018 growing season officially kicks into high gear, we are simultaneously evaluating all of the lots in barrel from our most recent vintage, 2017 (If you’re planning on attending our annual Futures event in May, you’ll be among the first to taste them!). We have some exciting new Single-Vineyard Wines with the 2017 vintage, and Darice is being extra attentive to them. It always takes time to understand a new single vineyard site and its resulting wines that process of discovery is incredibly exciting. In addition to the 2018 growing season and the 2017 barrel evaluations, we are also preparing the 2016 Nickel & Nickel Cabernets for bottling. We have very exacting bottling standards, and each of our Single-Vineyard Cabernets requires specific care and attention. And last but certainly not least, we are sending some extraordinary 2014 Cabernets as well as some of the first wines from the extremely limited 2015 vintage to you! For me, it is almost like time travel, anticipating a new vintage while pulling the cork on wines we’ve carefully aged in barrel and bottle for the past three to four years. Each year teaches us something new. It never gets old! Sharing these wines with our Single Vineyard Members never gets old either. As we wait for the first spring budbreak in our vineyards, I’m excited to get these special bottles into your hands. Best Wishes,  

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


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


2014 Nickel & Nickel
Rock Cairn Vineyard 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

A wine of great distinction and elegance, the 2014 Rock Cairn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon carries concentrated aromas of cherry and geranium. Black cherry and plum mingle with savory notes of dried leaves, green olive and succulent herbs to offer an exotic profile. Velvety and approachable, well-integrated tannins carry these flavors into a gentle, lingering finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 53% new
  • 47% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 14, 2014

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2015 Nickel & Nickel
Suscol Ranch Merlot

Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The nine-acre Suscol Ranch is located in Jamieson Canyon, south of the city of Napa. The area is very cool, with dense fog early in the season and windy conditions all year long. Planted on a gentle, north-facing knoll of deep, loamy soil, the vines are cordon trained to give the grapes maximum sun exposure. The cool conditions allow the fruit to mature slowly, gracefully developing flavors and mature tannins.

Sensory Evaluation

Aromas of sweet cedar, plum, and dried herb hint at the juicy flavors of plum and pomegranate in the glass. Subtle accents of green olive, earth and spice harmonize beautifully with the dark, rich fruit. Vibrant acidity helps the flavors linger on the palate, while integrated oak lengthens the finish.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Merlot

Aging

16 Months in French oak barrels

  • 50% new
  • 50% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 28, 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


2014 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

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
Copper Streak Vineyard Copper Streak

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, midafternoon 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

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
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


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