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Nickel & Nickel

Nickel & Nickel 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. "We’re not just seeking out any vineyards. Every aspect of each vineyard must be top-notch, including the soil and the climate, but we also want to know the site is proven ground. We look at who the neighbors are, who is the vineyard manager, and will that grower be willing to do whatever it takes to make the best of the vineyard," says Winemaker Darice Spinelli. In turn, no one wine in the Nickel & Nickel portfolio stands alone. The entire collection of vineyards, and the single-vineyard wines they produce, make up the whole of the winery. Instead of producing soloists, Nickel & Nickel has assembled a symphony of some of the world’s rarest and most highly expressive 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 president 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." Nickel & Nickel currently produces single-vineyard Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Long-range plans call for the production of as many as twenty-five 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines.

From San Francisco via the Bay Bridge/Highway 80: Take Highway 80 East over the Bay Bridge, toward Sacramento. Remain on 80 East, cross the Carquinez Bridge and pay the bridge toll. Continue on 80 East to the Highway 37/Columbus Parkway exit in the city of Vallejo. Take 37 (towards San Rafael) for a few miles to Highway 29. Turn right (north) onto 29 and follow 29 north through the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. About 3 miles north of the Washington St. traffic light at Yountville, you will enter the small town of Oakville, indicated by a green highway sign on the right side of the road. Continue driving north, passing the Oakville Crossroad and the Oakville Grocery, on the right. Less than a mile north of the Oakville Grocery you will come upon a white, three-rail fence to the right. The fence marks the beginning of the Nickel & Nickel property. Turn right into the entrance of Nickel & Nickel at the north end of the fence. From San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge/Highway 101: From 101 North near the San Francisco Airport, follow signs to Golden Gate Bridge/Van Ness. Take Van Ness to Lombard. Turn left on Lombard and follow to the Golden Gate Bridge. After crossing the bridge, follow 101 North to the Highway 37 exit, and follow the signs to Napa. Follow 37 to the junction with Highway 121, which is marked by a stoplight. Turn left at the light, which will place you on 121 and you will pass the Infineon Raceway on your left. Take 121 to a three-way stop. Turn right at the stop. This is now 121/12. Follow this to the junction with Highway 29, which is marked by a stoplight, where you may only turn left or right. Turn left to follow 29 North. Drive through Napa and Yountville, and follow the remaining directions above.

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8164 St. Helena Highway, Oakville, CA, US, 94562 Email:
Phone: 707-967-9600 Web:
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  Butala Zinfandel
A Zinandal that will take your breath away. This is the only vintage that we produced the Butala Zin is only offered on location at the winery or here online. There are a total of 28 bottles left!
  Carpenter Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
A mild spring led way to a beautiful summer in 2002. Warm days and cool nights yielded good ripening conditions for the fruit. Low humidity at the end of September really concentrated fruit flavors and we had to enhance our irrigation regime to keep the fruit on the vines a bit longer to ensure maximum maturity.
The 2001 Dolce was aged on its primary fermentation lees for two-and-a-half years in new French oak, resulting in a richer sense of earthy complexity behind the unctuous fruit-driven style of Dolce. The fruity aromas of dried apricot and orange rind and accents of minerals and earthiness. The coating and inviting entry is followed by a rounded, balanced and mouth-watering palate of pear and tropical fruits. Our experience with previous vintages suggests that this compelling blend will continue to develop its bottle bouquet and be enjoyable for years to come.
  Far Niente Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Far Niente`s Cabernet Sauvignon is produced exclusively from grapes grown in the Oakville Viticultural area of Napa Valley. Ninety percent of the grapes are from The Stelling Vineyard, our estate vineyard located behind the winery at the base of the western hills of Oakville. The remaining ten percent of the fruit comes from our Sullenger Vineyard and one other small estate in Oakville.
  Far Niente Estate Chardonnay
Far Niente Chardonnays are classically structured wines that are lush and round on the palate while displaying the typical intensity of fruit and spicy oak aromas that have become synonymous with our "house style". While the finish is long and clean, the flavors become increasingly full and complex with time. Our experience is that this wine improves in the bottle for at least five years and that they can grow in complexity and depth for possibly ten years or more.
  Far Niente Estate Chardonnay
Aromas of pear and spun sugar. Concentrated, dense and sharply focused, with classic, brisk no-malo flavors of apple and quince, underpinned by stony minerality. Dense, quite dry and stylish; very refreshing but not at all hard. Finishes with excellent persistence.
  Nickel and Nickel Branding Iron Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
A warm, mild spring produced excellent growing conditions for this vineyard. The vines continued to strengthen this year and production levels improved. Warm temperatures in late September, combined with low humidity, pushed sugar and flavor development ahead of our expectations and really concentrated the fruit.
  Nickel and Nickel Darien Vineyard Syrah
Indicative of syrah, this wine is dark in color and opens with aromas of lavender, plum and spice. The beautiful floral note of this vineyard carries through on the palate, mixed with layers of red fruits and an underlying meatiness typical of the variety. This wine is full from start to finish and has an excellent progression of fruit, spice, toast, and meat that continues into a long, supple finish.
  Nickel and Nickel Darien Vineyard Syrah
Very dark in color, this wine entices the senses with a perfume of plum, violet, tar, coffee and spice. It is packed with intensity, opening with a mouthful of jammy fruit, meat, spice, earth and a gamey quality that is true to the varietal. Big and bold, it fills the palate with layers of flavors finishing with coffee and roasted nuts enveloped by elegant, coating tannins.
  Nickel and Nickel Dragonfly Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Dragonfly Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon impresses with its ripe, jammy fruit and plush texture. The color is a beautiful garnet and the aromas reveal the ripeness of this fruit at harvest. The wine opens with concentrated flavors of strawberry jam and a penetrating perfume wrapped in soft layers of toasty oak. The tannins are incredibly supple and long, adding to the warmth and elegance of the wine.
  Nickel and Nickel Dyer Vineyard Syrah
Similar to the 2001 vintage, this wine opens with a bouquet of floral aromas of rose petal, violets, wild berries and spice. The flavors are rich and dense, with a bit of earth and meat adding layers. This wine has a lot going on and the medley of fruit, pepper, and spice is complemented by the toasty oak, which adds a sweetness to the palate. The fat, silky texture of this wine continues to grow with the fruit into a well-sculpted finish.
  Nickel and Nickel Dyer Vineyard Syrah
Dark in color with floral aromas of rose petal, lavender, vanilla and spice. Plum and wild berry are present on the entry of this wine supported by an underlying meatiness with rich, toasty oak. Pretty yet chewy and dense, this wine finishes with long, elegant tannins.
  Nickel and Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot
Although we experienced slightly higher rainfall levels in April, the growing season was moderate in 2003 with budbreak and bloom following a usual pattern. A few heat waves in August and September led to good maturity at harvest. This vineyard was harvested on three separate days to maximize fruit quality and ripeness. The Bear Flat clone, which usually gives the nicer fruit flavors, was first to be picked while our “structure” clone was left to hang for another week. This added hang time helped soften the tannins while allowing the fruit to become ultra ripe.
  Nickel and Nickel Hudson Vineyard Syrah
Hudson Syrah shows a beautiful dark color very characteristic of Syrah. Aromas of violet, lavender and berry abound from the glass. This wine is rich and concentrated with flavors of wild berry, white pepper and spice with just a shade of the varietal funkiness adding subtle nuances throughout. This is a flashy wine, full of flavor, which expands on the palate and continues to grow through its lengthy finish.
  Nickel and Nickel John`s Creek Vineyard Chardonnay
Flavors of melon, pear and apple mingle with the flint, mineral and fig components to make a very harmonious combination. Bright and crisp on the palate yet long and rich, the oak adds a creamy texture that gains length on the finish. This wine can be enjoyed today and will continue to evolve for years to come.
  Nickel and Nickel Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel
The 2002 Ponzo Zinfandel is probably one of the most fruit-driven wines from this vineyard. The raspberry flavors are fully pronounced, ripe and jammy with the underlying black pepper, vanilla and spice that are characteristic of this vineyard. The warm, toasty oak surrounds those sweet impressions that carry on and linger to produce a long, balanced finish.
  Nickel and Nickel Searby Chardonnay
An early spring got 2004 off to a good start, with bud break occurring at the beginning of March. Warm weather continued through the spring, allowing for a good “set” in May. The vines seemed to have a lot of energy this year (whether it was due to higher soil moisture or the beautiful warm weather) and they had healthy growth throughout the season. A warm, consistent summer gave way to August heat waves that tended to raise sugar levels before flavors were fully mature. We waited for the flavors to develop before harvesting, but we picked the fruit earlier than in past years due to the earlier season overall.
  Nickel and Nickel Sori Bricco Merlot
The 2003 vintage opens with floral aromas of rose petals and jam. On the first sip, sweet blackberry and plum fills the palate while chocolate and spice add layering in the middle. These flavors lead to a coating mouthfeel, while layers of vanilla and spice from the oak lengthen the finish.
  Nickel and Nickel Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2001 John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best from this vineyard. The wine is rich with ripe fruit flavors of blackberry and sweet cherry, layers of sweet herb, and an Oakville dustiness filling the middle palate. Notes of coffee and spice, coupled with sweet, toasty oak, carry into the long supple tannins that create this wine’s beautiful, lingering finish.
  Nickel and Nickel Suscol Ranch Merlot
Similar to the 2002, this wine is quite impressive, offering layers of interest. Ripe flavors of dark plum and wild berry are enhanced by underlying layers of herb, cedar and sweet oak.
  Nickel and Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay
A classic style of Carneros Chardonnay, this wine effuses bright, fresh tropical fruit with notes of citrus and mineral. The fruit is accentuated by underlying vanilla and spice from the oak, adding richness and intensity.
  Rock Cairn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Lack of rain in the late winter and early spring were a bit of a concern for this dry-farmed vineyard because we began the growing season with drier-than-usual soils. Vine vigor looked average and fruit set was good as we entered the summer. Low humidity and a few heat spikes led to higher sugars, however, we waited to pick until we had ripe flavors and mature tannins. Yields were slightly down due to the lower humidity, but flavors were more concentrated than ever before.
  Stelling Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Ideal growing conditions in 2002 allowed for perfect balance in the vineyard. Our two-acre block in Stelling is a beautiful site where the vineyard tends to regulate itself. Complete suckering and good irrigation management seem to produce the light patterns needed for full development of the fruit. Low humidity in late September peaked flavor development and the fruit quickly developed rich, concentrated flavors of blackberry and cassis. Lower tonnage has produced a lovely wine.
  Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Mild spring conditions were ideal for the vines in 2002 and the vineyard was well balanced. The crop looked a bit lighter than last year and proved to be down at harvest. Warm temperatures prevailed into the summer and the heat and low humidity at the end of September required strict irrigation practices due to the rocky soils. The old vines carried fruit that matured slowly and we needed to hang the fruit until mid-October before we developed the nice blueberry flavors that distinguish this vineyard.
  Vogt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
The ripe, fruit intensity of Howell Mountain shines in this wine, which was crushed at the new Nickel & Nickel winery. Floral aromas mixed with jammy fruit, spice and cedar flow from the glass. Firm and impressive, this wine opens with abundant flavors of boysenberry and cassis enveloped by sweet floral notes and vanillin. Bold, yet rounded tannins, which are ever-present in this Howell Mountain vineyard, are the signature of this full-bodied wine.


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