The juiciest of our Nickel & Nickel Merlots, the 2015 Harris Vineyard Merlot offers aromas of ripe plum, cinnamon and toasted oak. This rich perfume transfers to the palate with accompanying flavors of dried herb and baking spices. Warm, toasty oak complements the fruit while rounded tannins provide support. Lush fruit flavors and a silky texture makes this one of our most approachable wines upon release.
Bale soil series from Harris Vineyard
Oakville, Napa Valley
1991 and 1995
Merlot Clone 1 and the Bear Flat clone, planted on 5C rootstock
Quadrilateral trellis system
This vineyard is planted on a large alluvial fan that extends from the Mayacamas Mountains, across the Branding Iron Vineyard, into Harris Vineyard, and reaches all the way to the western edge of the Rock Cairn Vineyard. The vineyard’s Bale soil series are developed on alluvial fans and flood plains, while the Clear Lake soil series are found on old alluvial fans derived from sedimentary rock. Both soil series can be found in this vineyard, giving it a gravelly clay loam.
Harris Vineyard is located in western Oakville, just east of the Branding Iron Vineyard. Nickel & Nickel’s six 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.
September 18 – 22, 2015
16 months in French oak
We saw an early budbreak in March, May bloom and a small but healthy fruit set in 2015. Despite low rainfall, canopies were healthy and clusters were full. We pulled leaves around the fruit to ensure each cluster received just the right amount of even, dappled light during the moderate summer months. We also thinned the fruit to allow for ample space and air between each cluster. Warm September heat ripened the fruit beautifully, and we harvested the two blocks separately this year, leaving the Cabernet on our larger vines a little longer to allow them to achieve full maturity.