Have you ever wondered what, exactly, are Wine Futures?
Buying Futures refers to purchasing wine that is still maturing in barrel. In France, this more than 200-year old practice is known as en primeur, which literally translates to, as being new.
In California, offering Wine Futures is a relatively recent development, and in Napa Valley, it is Cabernet Futures on which most winemakers set their sights. At Nickel & Nickel, our Cabernet Futures Program is all about 100%-varietal, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the Napa Valley’s most exciting regions: from Yountville and the Stags Leap District to Oakville, Rutherford, Diamond Mountain and more. And, each year, we invite our wine club members and past Futures buyers to come out and be the first to taste the newest vintage, straight out of barrel.
Barrel tastings are unique opportunity to glimpse a wine in its earliest stages of maturation, however, we’re often asked what, exactly, should you look for during a Napa Valley Cabernet barrel tasting? And how do you know if the still developing wine will be any good? During our own Cabernet Futures event, which takes place every spring, Winemaker Darice Spinelli always offers one essential tasting tip: Give your wine a lot of air. “You can really open up a young barrel selection just by giving it some extended time in your glass and a good, strong swirl.”
After offering her one essential tip, Darice then asks two key questions:
Each spring, we introduce a new vintage of Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Cabernet Futures during our annual Futures Barrel Tasting. It’s a lively celebration, as well as a unique opportunity to taste our Single-Vineyard Cabernets while they are still in barrel and reserve some of our most acclaimed (and limited production) wines before they are bottled.
Learn more about our Cabernet Futures Program.
When we tasted the 2014 vintage at last spring’s barrel tasting, it was already showing bright young fruit, yielding tannins and a wonderful richness on the midpalate. We couldn’t believe how well integrated and approachable the wine already seemed to be.
We checked in with Winemaker Darice Spinelli to see how they’re doing now. Her 2014 Cabernet Futures update is below! (more…)
The surest way to guarantee blue skies and sunshine? Plan for inclement weather.
Although we clearly had every intention of welcoming the rain at our Oakville winery, we loved celebrating a cloudless Napa Valley afternoon with our wine club members and guests at this year’s Nickel & Nickel Open House.
What a remarkable day! Our Single-Vineyard Wines were elegant and approachable, the wood-fired pizzas were in high demand, and our guests readily embraced the rainy day spirit, despite the almost balmy temps. (more…)
For Winemaker Darice Spinelli, the holidays are all about family, with great food, wine and a few lively games thrown in for FUN! That FUN – with a Capital F – starts on Christmas Eve with oyster stew, apple salad, and Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay. This year, there may be some library vintages of Suscol Ranch Merlot on the table, too.
As for Christmas Day, Darice shares a snapshot of her Napa Valley Holiday, by the hour, below. Read on…
6:30 am: Our dog, Bentley, is up.
Time to make coffee and take him on a Christmas walk.
8:30 am: Arrive at Mom and Dad’s just in time to help Dad make his famous Aebleskivers.
About the size of a kiwi, they are Danish, a bit like pancakes, but filled with fruit. My favorites are apple, blueberry or raisin filled. My dad’s been perfecting the recipe for years, and everyone in my family has a “seasoned” Aebleskiver pan. On Christmas, we make about 120 for breakfast and serve them with lemon sauce. One Aebleskiver has an almond tucked inside of it, and whoever gets the one with the almond wins a prize. Of course, you have to show the evidence so you can’t eat the almond! It’s lots of fun.
The Estate Collection holds a special place in our hearts. A little bit Russian River, a whole lotta Napa Valley, it’s a small taste of what we grow and make, from our family of wineries. Inspired by the wines in this classic four-bottle boxed set, Executive Chef Trevor Eliason created this festive four-course menu, recipes included. Full of rich autumn favorites, it’s perfect for a hungry table of six (although the hearty recipes could easily be stretched to accommodate eight)!
Four Wines + Four Recipes = A Complete Dinner Party (more…)