Nickel & Nickel’s Rise to Prominence as Single-Vineyard Cabernet Experts

Tenacity, innovation and a single-minded commitment to “vineyard and varietal” has established Nickel & Nickel as the leader in single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  But the Oakville-based winery certainly isn’t resting on its laurels. With an insider knowledge of the Napa Valley that dates back four decades and a passion for farming Cabernet sites with untapped potential, Nickel & Nickel continues its quest for Napa Valley’s best single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons.

Nickel & Nickel began with an adventurous departure from a traditional estate model when it was founded in 1997 by the partners of Far Niente. Calling on its deep knowledge of Napa Valley’s diverse topography, Nickel & Nickel singles out outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from across the region. Some are recognized stars from valley floor AVAs, including Oakville and Rutherford.  Others are hidden diamonds, often in hard-to-farm, high-elevation locations like Howell Mountain. All grow exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, but that Cabernet is expressed differently in each site.

The unique voice and flavor of each vineyard is nurtured in Nickel & Nickel’s state-of-the-art winery, designed specifically for small-lot, single-varietal winemaking. Each vintage of Nickel & Nickel Cabernet highlights vineyard, soil and fruit in ways few others are able to achieve. Today, the Oakville-based winery continues to surprise and delight palates with the widest and most compelling range of luxury single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons.

Experiencing the complete Nickel & Nickel Cabernet collection offers a north-to-south taste of the Napa Valley and reveals how vineyards less than a mile apart can yield wines of extremely different character and flavor. It’s an exploration of terroir, and a reminder that Nickel & Nickel is a celebration of many places, from the rock-strewn soils of Yountville’s acclaimed State Ranch to the powdered-cocoa “dust” of Rutherford’s C.C. Ranch. We’ll raise a glass to that.

A Toast to a Few Favorite Single-Vineyards and the Cabernets They Yield:

John C. Sullenger Vineyard, Oakville

2017 Nickel & Nickel John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley

Flavor Profile: Seductive plum and black cherry flavors, silky tannins and delicate herb-earth notes. The hallmarks of our home vineyard in Oakville.

Vineyard Notes: The Oakville vineyard’s location in the literal center of the Napa Valley – and at the toe of a western alluvial soil fan – afford every vine consistent sun exposure and subtle soil variation. Precise pruning and canopy management allows every cluster to take advantage of this prime location and give us the concentrated fruit flavors we know so well.

C.C. Ranch, Rutherford

2017 Nickel & Nickel C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa Valley

Flavor Profile: Ripe raspberry-cherry notes with a touch of baking spice, rich midpalate, and a bright acidity that lifts the finish. Not to mention that quintessential Rutherford dust.

Vineyard Notes: Planted along a gravelly western Rutherford knoll with dozens of different exposures, variety gives this wine its spice! Each block is farmed uniquely to give us Cabernet that balances ripe red fruit flavors with bright acidity and silky tannin.

State Ranch, Yountville

2017 Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville Napa Valley

Flavor Profile: Layered fruit, notes of summer plum and wet slate, cedar accents and gorgeously supple tannins. Elegance and complexity in every single vintage.

Vineyard Notes: This northeast Yountville vineyard is divided into two parcels, the first with gnarled older vines planted as early as 1990, and the second with “younger” nearly 15-year old vines planted in 2005. Both are strewn with large rocks and the soils have some of the best natural drainage in the valley. Loose clusters, great exposure and that marriage of older and younger fruit yield a complex Cabernet Sauvignon that is beautifully evocative of the place in which it was grown.

Learn more about Nickel & Nickel Winery

Published on December 9, 2019
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