Single Vineyard Club

March 2019

— Current —


March 2019 Dear Single Vineyard Enthusiast, With spring just around the corner, we always find great delight this time of year in watching the barren vineyards come alive with bright yellow mustard blossoms – these first signs of new life give us insight (and anticipation!) as to what is to come. Likewise, this is also a time of anticipation for our members, who will have the opportunity to enjoy a first taste of the 2018 vintage of Single-Vineyard Cabernets at our annual Futures event in April – we hope you can join us! We selected the wines in this shipment with great care, ensuring you have Cabernet and Merlot to carry you through the waning winter days, and Chardonnay to launch you into the warmer spring weather. Whatever your weather, I think this club shipment will brighten your mood. Each wine distinctly expresses the personality of the vineyard from which it came, and I am confident you’ll find immense joy inside these bottles. Cheers,  

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking Emeritus


March 2019 Dear Single Vineyard Enthusiast, With spring just around the corner, we always find great delight this time of year in watching the barren vineyards come alive with bright yellow mustard blossoms – these first signs of new life give us insight (and anticipation!) as to what is to come. Likewise, this is also a time of anticipation for our members, who will have the opportunity to enjoy a first taste of the 2018 vintage of Single-Vineyard Cabernets at our annual Futures event in April – we hope you can join us! We selected the wines in this shipment with great care, ensuring you have Cabernet and Merlot to carry you through the waning winter days, and Chardonnay to launch you into the warmer spring weather. Whatever your weather, I think this club shipment will brighten your mood. Each wine distinctly expresses the personality of the vineyard from which it came, and I am confident you’ll find immense joy inside these bottles. Cheers,  

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking Emeritus


2016 Nickel & Nickel
Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The Hayne Vineyard is situated in St. Helena at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains and is well known for its single vineyard wines from the site. The vines are small to moderate in size due to the gravelly, loam soils and the vineyard produces small yields. The warm St. Helena temperatures are ideal for producing sweet, jammy fruit and this vineyard tends to be picked at the beginning of harvest each year.

Sensory Evaluation

With its plum, pomegranate and fresh raspberry aromatics complemented by subtle notes of baking spice and toasty oak, the 2016 Hayne Vineyard Cabernet captivates from the start. Supple red fruit flavors give way to plush tannins that envelop the entire palate before slowly moving into a long and mouthwatering finish.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 Months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 14 – 19, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 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

A classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with beautiful aromas of sage, cedar, black olive and forest floor, mixed with briary notes of blueberry and spicy black fruits. With ample intensity of fruit on entry, the 2016 Quarry possesses moderate tannins that are layered and elegant. Subtle herbaceous notes mixed with oak come through on the back half of the palate, reminiscent of delectable baking spices, such as vanilla, clove and brioche.  The resulting wine creates a lasting impression with its graceful finish.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 Months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once–used

Harvest Dates

September 27, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 Nickel & Nickel
Harris Vineyard Merlot

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The 50-acre Harris Vineyard is located in western Oakville, just east of Branding Iron Vineyard. Nickel & Nickel’s five acres are comprised of two blocks that offer a southern exposure and soil of gravelly clay loam. Thinning passes allow each cluster to hang freely, optimizing the trellis system, and taking advantage of the warm climate to reach full maturity.

Sensory Evaluation

Bright red fruits, candied blueberry, Santa Rosa plum and menthol aromas all blend together to intoxicate the nose as the 2016 Harris Vineyard Merlot wafts from the glass. On the palate, a juicy and fruity entry is supported by chewy tannins and a balancing acidity, creating lush layers that coat the tongue and produce a soft, elegant finish.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Merlot

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 52% new
  • 48% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 29, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2017 Nickel & Nickel
Stiling Vineyard Chardonnay

Russian River Valley

Vineyard Description

Stiling Vineyard, located in the Green Valley Appellation of the Russian River Valley, was planted by the Stiling family in 1988. The vineyard is composed of the infamous Goldridge sandy loam soils which produce vines of moderate vigor. We source our fruit from two different blocks and two different clones—the See clone and the Rued clone. These clones each offer a unique flavor to the Stiling wine. The coastal influence produces daytime temperatures that allow the grapes to slowly develop full ripeness while retaining perfect balance. Nickel & Nickel produces Chardonnay from 6.95-acres within the 35-acre vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

This is one of the best Stiling Chardonnay’s produced to date. The beauty of 2017 lies in the harmonious balance of the vintage and this 2017 Stiling Chardonnay offers delicate aromas of honeysuckle, muscat and lemon zest. The crisp acidity naturally derived in the Russian River accentuates succulent flavors of green apple, muscat and Meyer lemon. The oak offers a nice spice that complements the fruit, adding complexity and depth. These refreshing flavors linger on the finish, enticing yet another sip.


Appellation

Russian River Valley

Varietal

100% Chardonnay

Aging

10 months in French oak barrels

  • 50% new
  • 50% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 30 – October 3, 2017

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


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


2012 Nickel & Nickel
Copper Streak 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

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 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

With its graceful aromatics accented by notes of fresh raspberry, Bing cherry and the slightest hint of Herbs de Provence, the 2016 Quicksilver Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is the epitome of elegance. Fresh red berry flavors fill the palate, and silky – almost delicate – tannins carry the wine into a beautiful finish.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

16 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once–used

Harvest Dates

October 2 – 8, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 Far Niente
Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon

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 21st – October 12th, 2016

Winemaker

Nicole Marchesi

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% 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


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% once-used

Harvest Dates

August 14 – September 15, 2016

Winemaker

Andrew Delos

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2016 Nickel & Nickel
Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Calistoga, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Planted on well-drained, alluvial soils at the base of Calistoga’s Eastern hills, Kenefick Ranch produces vines of moderate vigor that yield loose clusters with small, concentrated berries. The loamy soil, western exposure and the warmer upper valley climate of this westward-facing vineyard helps us achieve optimal phenolic ripeness. The resulting wines consistently offer a mouthwatering combination of boysenberry and black cherry aromas with fresh fruit flavors that expand and coat the palate, along with density, layers of texture and a juicy finish.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2016 Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon leads with luxurious dark fruit and spice aromas. Layer after layer of juicy black fruit and wild berry flavors unfold on the palate, accented by notes of warm spice. Big, rich tannins provide structure and will allow this powerful Cabernet to cellar beautifully for many years to come.


Appellation

Calistoga, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 48% new
  • 52% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 2 – 8, 2016

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


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 CC 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