You don’t have to travel far on Napa Valley’s Highway 29 to find yourself at Oakville’s Nickel & Nickel Single Vineyard Winery. Although boasting an elegantly modern, solar-powered facility that produces up to 25 different single-vineyard wines, they are nestled within 42 acres of land originally settled as a farmstead in the 1880s. Their unique architecture allows for the co-existence of older buildings with the new winery. In fact, depending on which direction you’re looking in, you might wonder if you’ve gone back in time – or forward. Although after one sip of their Vogt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, you probably won’t care what year it is. Their wines are that impressive.
Established in 1997 by the partners of Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel is based on a philosophy of producing 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinct personality of each vineyard. It is from some of the most coveted vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma valleys that the Nickel & Nickel wines are produced.
Nickel & Nickel currently produces a collection of single-vineyard, 100 percent varietal Napa Valley Cabernets from six subappellations including Oakville, St. Helena, Howell Mountain, Rutherford, Stags Leap and Yountville. The balance of the portfolio includes single-vineyard Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel from sites in both Napa Valley and Sonoma. Dedicated to the single vineyard philosophy, their long-range plans call for the production of as many as twenty-five 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines.
"Our hope is that, through tasting our wines, people will gain an understanding of the distinctive and varied terroirs of the valley," says Dirk Hampson, director of winemaking and chairman of Nickel & Nickel. "True terroir only comes with a relationship over time with the land. We have to understand the subtleties of its personality, and take a journey over several vintages to learn how to get the best from the vineyard."
About the Wine
Vogt Vineyard is situated atop Howell Mountain, along the northeast edge of the Napa Valley. The 15-acre vineyard reaches from a high elevation with shallow, rocky soils, down to a lower bowl of deeper loam. The surprisingly warm climate, combined with the vineyard’s steep, southeast exposure, produces a dense and structured wine, typical of hillside Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2007 Vogt Cabernet Sauvignon has its typical and distinctive dark fruit aromas complemented with notes of black tea and hints of toasty French oak. The vintage produced moderate tannins across the palate providing a graceful backdrop to the hillside fruit.
International Wine Cellar(2002 Vintage) Good full ruby. Brooding, medicinal aromas of cassis and mint. Primary and grapey but round, with cassis and licorice flavors along with a light weediness. Fairly dense, even chunky, but could use a bit more sweetness and pliancy. I suspect this rather old-style cabernet will reward cellaring.