Nickel & Nickel John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley 2019

Deep ruby color; cherry, plum, blackcurrant on the nose; dark plum, blackberry, raspberry, dark cherry, cassis, sweet bay leaf on the palate.

Nickel & Nickel John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley 2019

Dry; absolutely delicious, savory dark fruit; smooth, subtle, complex in the mouth. Elegant, refined, polished. Pure fruit, no artifice; this is superb fruit rather than winemaker conjurations. Undercurrents of leather and earthiness adds drama and complexity. Silky tannins. Sweet, toasty oak. Exceptional depth, density, complexity. Ripe, polished tannins. Low acidity does not interfere with the delicious fruit. Medium-plus body. 14.5% ABV

John C. Sullenger Vineyard is located in Oakville and surrounds the Nickel & Nickel winery. Deep loam soils and excellent sun exposure make this a textbook terroir for quality cabernet sauvignon. The vineyard is named for John C. Sullenger, who established his farmstead in the 1880s. The vineyard’s 30 acres are planted only in cabernet sauvignon with two rootstocks and a smattering of different clones, each of which add to the unique elements of this exceptional wine.

Nickel & Nickel gate

Nickel & Nickel is part of the Far Niente group that also includes Dolce, Enroute, Bella Union, and Post & Beam. All exceptional wines in their various categories. Established in 1997, Nickel & Nickel focuses only on 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines. They source from their own vineyards and other high-quality blocks in the Napa Valley growing cabernet sauvignon. The Oakville district spreads across the center of the valley floor between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains, where the most celebrated vineyards in Napa are found. Cabernet sauvignon produced here are noted for sensual, silky texture, tannic structure, and dark fruit, and engaging aromatics. Nickel & Nickel also produces single-vineyard offerings of chardonnay, merlot, and syrah. Nickel & Nickel wine is produced at the Far Niente facility. There is a restored barn tasting room at the vineyard.

Nickel & Nickel winemaker Joe Harden

Joe Harden is the winemaker. While Harden graduated with a BS in viticulture and enology at Cal-Davis, he pursued a professional basketball career before joining Robert Mondavi Winery in 2012. He spent six years on the winemaking team before being named winemaker for Bordeaux varietals and overseeing production of To Kalon cabernet wines. In 2018, Harden moved across the street to take the position as Nickel & Nickel winemaker overseeing production from the Napa Valley and the Russian River Valley.

Nickel & Nickel John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley 2019 is a higher-end, high quality wine from the Far Niente group. Smooth, rich, lovely in the mouth. Vivid, delicious fruit. Impressive complexity and integration. A worthy exemplar of the marvelous quality possible from the heart of Napa, America’s premier AVA. Pair with hearty red meats, steaks grilled, roasted, braised; prime rib, New York strip, filet mignon; gourmet burgers; portobella mushrooms; lamb; blackened salmon; dishes cooked in red wine. Cheese—gorgonzola, gouda, cheddar—harder, aged cheeses; avoid soft cheeses. $110-115

Nickel & Nickel website

Nickel & Nickel restored barn
Far Niente winery today
Far Niente interior
Far Niente vineyard
Far Niente vines
Far Niente gardens
Far Niente wine caves
Far Niente floating solar panels