Single Vineyard Club

November 2017


November 3, 2017 Dear Single Vineyard Enthusiast, We have just finished harvest and it won’t be one that we shall soon forget. All early indications are that the Cabernets are ripe, deep and alluring, perhaps even as memorable as the ancient expressions of earth and water. However, it was our experience with the all too real expressions of fire and wind that will define our memories of 2017 for years to come. While the news covered the fires and the losses so many suffered, let me point out how our employees, like so many throughout Napa and Sonoma, came together. They cared and helped each other. They harvested grapes when it became safe to reenter vineyards. They took care of the fermenting wines over and above what was asked. The resulting wines are excellent. They show the exact attention to craftsmanship and detail that define Nickel & Nickel as well as all of our other wineries. I value beyond words the dedication and personal commitment that was so strongly demonstrated. It was not done with fanfare or expectation but rather was a personal expression to what we do and how we do it. Yes, our families, friends, employees and wineries are safe. I am thankful for that. However, I am thankful for and inspired by the actions of so many. These are qualities that are within every vintage we produce, and I hope you enjoy the exceptional wines in this shipment. Sincerely,  

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


November 3, 2017 Dear Single Vineyard Enthusiast, We have just finished harvest and it won’t be one that we shall soon forget. All early indications are that the Cabernets are ripe, deep and alluring, perhaps even as memorable as the ancient expressions of earth and water. However, it was our experience with the all too real expressions of fire and wind that will define our memories of 2017 for years to come. While the news covered the fires and the losses so many suffered, let me point out how our employees, like so many throughout Napa and Sonoma, came together. They cared and helped each other. They harvested grapes when it became safe to reenter vineyards. They took care of the fermenting wines over and above what was asked. The resulting wines are excellent. They show the exact attention to craftsmanship and detail that define Nickel & Nickel as well as all of our other wineries. I value beyond words the dedication and personal commitment that was so strongly demonstrated. It was not done with fanfare or expectation but rather was a personal expression to what we do and how we do it. Yes, our families, friends, employees and wineries are safe. I am thankful for that. However, I am thankful for and inspired by the actions of so many. These are qualities that are within every vintage we produce, and I hope you enjoy the exceptional wines in this shipment. Sincerely,  

Dirk Hampson
Director of Winemaking


2014 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 1880s. The vineyard’s 28 acres of clay loam soil are planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon, with two rootstocks and a few different clones which each add a unique element to the resulting wine.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2014 John C. Sullenger Cabernet Sauvignon shows flavorful expressions of bright fruits, savory herbs and toasty oak. Seductive aromas of plum, olive and earth entice the taster and carry through to the palate, alongside flavors of black cherry, tobacco and sage. Balanced acidity and spicy oak complement the dark, rich fruits while round, supple tannins build the midpalate. Approachable now, this wine will continue to develop over the next 10 years.


Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 Months in French oak barrels

  • 53% new
  • 47% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 23 – October 14, 2014

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 Nickel & Nickel
State Ranch Vineyard 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 harvest many different clones to make the final wine. Nickel & Nickel selects fruit from 11 acres of the vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2014 State Ranch Cabernet has aromas of wild berries, violets and crushed stone. Enticing blackberry and blueberry fruits mingle with notes of minerality and spice, surrounded by toasty oak that complements the fruit. Ample, velvety tannins enrich the texture and carry the fruit into a lengthy finish.


Appellation

Yountville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 57% new
  • 43% once-used

Harvest Dates

October 1 – 6, 2014

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2014 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 rich, jammy fruit and this vineyard tends to be picked at the beginning of harvest each year.

Sensory Evaluation

Rich and complex, the 2014 Hayne Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of fresh berries and cedar. Bing cherry and plum flavors blend with subtle notes of dust, graphite, and toasty French oak. The beauty of this wine is revealed upon the first sip as the round tannins provide power laced with finesse. The plush fruit brings enjoyment upon release, but a little bottle age will reveal the hidden flavors lying beneath the surface.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 Months in French oak barrels

  • 53% new
  • 47% once–used

Harvest Dates

September 10 – 23, 2014

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2013 Dolce
(375ml)

Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

Dolce’s 20-acre vineyards are located in Coombsville, east of the city of Napa, and are situated at the base of the Vaca Mountains, which define the eastern border of the valley. The volcanic soil is loose and well drained, and the west-facing vineyard is protected from the prevailing winds so that the damp, morning fog of autumn—a very important factor in the development of Botrytis cinerea—hangs longer amongst the vines, often until midday. A combination of high humidity followed by drying conditions encourages, but does not guarantee, the growth of Botrytis. As the mold develops, its coverage is seemingly random with individual berries succumbing to Botrytis at different rates, if at all.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2013 Dolce offers lifted and youthful aromas of orange zest, vanilla bean and butterscotch with subtle notes of minerality and oak-derived spices. The entry is juicy, and Dolce’s signature texture is lively and enduring on the palate leading to a mouthwatering finish. Flavors of orange, pear and dried apricot mingle together with rich caramel notes and hints of minerals that make this vintage a delicious expression of the season’s exceptional ripeness.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

90% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc

Aging

32 months in French oak barrels

  • 100% new

Harvest Dates

October 18 – December 5, 2013

Winemaker

Greg Allen

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Additional Notes


2012 Nickel & Nickel
Dragonfly Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Vineyard Description

The diminutive, four-acre Dragonfly Vineyard is located in St. Helena at the base of Spring Mountain. Old timers know this magical place as a “banana belt” microclimate, as its ideal summer temperatures allow the vines to develop their notable ripe and jammy fruit. The vines benefit from the site’s deep, gravelly loam soils and gentle southern exposure, and the vineyard is one of the first to be harvested each year.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2012 Dragonfly Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has floral and berry aromas that jump from the glass, and violet and rose petal blend with juicy strawberry and wild raspberry flavors. This wine is elegant and silky with jammy berry fruits wound tightly in a plush texture. The French oak adds warmth and highlights the fruit nicely, while the soft tannins offer superb texture from first sip through an incredibly supple finish.


Appellation

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 51% new
  • 49% once–used

Harvest Dates

October 8 – 15, 2012

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2012 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.

Sensory Evaluation

This first release of the Element 28 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a perfume of blueberries and boysenberries mixed with an underlying aroma of cedar and spice. Flavors of chocolate–covered berries fill the palate with an underlying minerality. This wine is packed with flavor, juicy and succulent, but is firm from the low yielding vines. The big, mouth–filling tannins will develop with some patience in the bottle. For those who enjoy full-bodied Cabernets, this is the perfect wine for you.


Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 55% new
  • 45% once–used

Harvest Dates

October 21, 2012

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

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, 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

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 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

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2013 Nickel & Nickel
State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L

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. Nickel & Nickel selects fruit from 14.5 acres of the vineyard.

Sensory Evaluation

The 2013 vintage was truly unique, producing wines that are exceedingly dark in color, rich in flavor and generously coating. The 2013 State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon has a beautiful bouquet of dark fruits, violet, stone and toast. Generous plum and blueberry fruits, spice, mineral and espresso combine with a texture of mouthfilling complexity. This wine possesses power and depth, with rich tannins that carry the fruit into a lengthy finish; this wine never seems to end.


Appellation

Yountville, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

18 months in French oak barrels

  • 50% new
  • 50% once–used

Harvest Dates

October 9 – 12, 2013

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


2013 Nickel & Nickel
C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L

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 2013 C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon offers gorgeous raspberry and black cherry aromas, leading to a bright palate of cherry flavors melded with chocolate, floral notes and a hint of Rutherford dust. The velvety, coating tannins are in perfect harmony with the fruit. Richness persists from the entry to the seductive, lingering finish.


Appellation

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Varietal

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging

17 months in French oak barrels

  • 49% new
  • 51% once-used

Harvest Dates

September 17 – October 5, 2013

Winemaker

Darice Spinelli

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson