Friday, November 19, 2010

Austin Wine Merchant Tasting - Nickel & Nickel Single Vineyard Wines



SD accompanied me to the Austin Wine Merchant for a really fantastic tasting tonight! Jim Doehring, Central Region Sales Manager for Far Niente, stopped by to pour six Nickel & Nickel Single Vineyard Wines. All of Nickel & Nickel's wines are unblended, are made from grapes from a single vineyard, and are offered for $80/bottle at the AWM. Jim was so knowledgeable about all of the vineyards and their individual characteristics. He also told me that Nickel & Nickel uses exclusively French oak barrels (lightly toasted, I believe) for aging - a combination of new and once-used.



The first wine we tasted was the Nickel & Nickel Searby Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA. This vineyard boasts sandy, loamy soils and is dry-farmed. The wine is not allowed to go through malolactic fermentation and thus maintains its crispness. It was rated 87 points by Wine Spectator.

Aroma - honeysuckle, citrus, very Muscat-like
Taste - honeysuckle, citrus, some acid but not super-crisp

This was a nice wine. I was pleasantly surprised as I don't usually prefer white wines, especially Chardonnays, but this one leaned more towards the bouquet of a Muscat and flavors of what I would expect from a Sauvignon Blanc (although not as crisp as I like my SBs), so it was fine for my palate.



The second wine we tasted was the Nickel & Nickel C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Rutherford, Napa Valley, CA. According to Jim, the grapes in this vineyard are grown in dusty, loamy soil.

Aroma - dark cherries, currant
Taste - red fruit, wood/tobacco, soft tannins

I liked this wine - it was a nice start to the reds. Quite light for a Cab Sauv. Jim says it's the winemaker's touch - just enough oak to smooth out the fruit but not overpower it.



The third wine we tasted was the Nickel & Nickel Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Oakville, Napa Valley, CA. Jim said that vineyard is grown on soil that ended up at the bottom of the valley thousands of years ago due to a landslide from the Joseph Phelps vineyard just above it. The soil is apparently rich with iron and very red and rocky.

Aroma - red fruit
Taste - red fruit, very smooth, a little wood at the end

I love this wine! It's so nice, so smooth, and so well-balanced.



The fourth wine we tasted was the Nickel & Nickel Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Oakville, Napa Valley, CA. This vineyard grows along the eastern side of the St. Helena Highway just north of Opus One. It resides in what used to be a riverbed on the Oakville valley floor.

Aroma - dark plums and fruit
Taste - dark plums and fruit, smooth, velvet, good mouthfeel, soft tannins

I love this wine even more than the last. As Jim said, the wines increase in complexity in the tasting order he's chosen for us.



The fifth wine we tasted was the Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Yountville, Napa Valley, CA. This is only the second release of this wine, which is grown in northern Yountville very close to Oakville. The soil is rocky and loamy and has excellent drainage. Wine Spectator rated this wine at 90 points.

Aroma - black plum, blackberries
Taste - black fruit, hint of tobacco, soft tannins, very smooth, well-balanced

I LOVE this wine! Yes, I love it more than I did the last one!



The sixth and final wine we tasted was the Nickel & Nickel Vogt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, CA. The vineyard is situated on a hillside in northeast Napa Valley.

Aroma - dark fruit, minerals
Taste - dark fruit, minerals, soft tannins, super smooth and velvety

WOW! We LOVED LOVED this wine so much that we splurged and bought a bottle! Can't wait to share it with D and MS!

Another absolutely fabulous tasting at the AWM!

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