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Harvest Update: Our 2015 Single Vineyard Wines

on October 5, 2015

State Ranch Vineyard, Yountville, Napa Valley 

Nickel & Nickel Harvest 2015 in Seven Words or Less: Early, High-Speed, Small Yields, Intense Flavors.

On September 3rd, we picked our first Napa Valley blocks of Truchard Chardonnay and C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition to making this one of the earliest harvests on record for us, Mother Nature decided this would also be one of the rare years when we brought both Chardonnay and Cabernet into the winery on the same day. We pick our fruit when the vineyard demands it!

As we send this, all but two of our Single Vineyard Cabernets are already off the vine, along with some very tasty Syrah from our Darien Vineyard. We never get much fruit from this Russian River Valley site, but we love this vineyard and the wine it produces so much. Darice says it’s already showing the wild berries and seductive notes of earth and spice that make this red such a favorite. Our Chardonnay and Merlot vineyards have also been picked, and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be welcoming a new Russian River Valley Chardonnay to the portfolio (but more on that later!).

This week, we’ll bring in fruit from our final two Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards: Rock Cairn in Napa Valley’s exciting Oakville AVA, plus one of our favorite Howell  Mountain sites, Beatty Ranch.  It’s been one of the earliest – and quickest – vintages on record.

Although it’s too early to give a thorough profile of the vintage, we can say that yields are small, the wines are developing gorgeous color in the tank, and we’re very pleased with the intense flavors we’re seeing so far.

Want to know more about the single vineyard wines that comprise the Nickel & Nickel portfolio? Check out the current lineup here!

2015 John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet, coming down the line!


Friday Night Whites: Best Chardonnay Small Plates for Summer

on July 28, 2015

For Nickel & Nickel Winemaker Darice Spinelli, Chardonnay is her hot weather go-to, “although with Chardonnay, I often find I’ve enjoyed my wine before a plate of food hits the table.”

On summer Friday nights, Darice loves to invite friends to join her around the fire pit for wine and super-simple small plates. “Anything too long or complicated isn’t going to happen.” Time is a precious commodity for Darice. Her days in the vineyard often start before sunrise (and end after office hours). She’s also Mom to two energetic boys, which means that arriving home, getting dinner on the table for the kids, then prepping an elaborate meal for her guests, well, “there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. Especially because I actually want to be present and enjoy the company of my family and my friends.”

To ensure she spends more time fireside than she does in the kitchen, Chef Trevor Eliason offers his suggestions for easy 30-minute (or less) appetizers that pair beautifully with Nickel & Nickel’s Single Vineyard Chardonnays from the Russian River and Napa Valleys.

Easy 30-Minute Appetizers

Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta + Nickel & Nickel Stiling Vineyard ChardonnayWhether you daydream about classic Brandywines, geek out over tangy Northern Lights or prize the hearty Cherokee purple as the perfect slicing tomato, tomato season is hitting its stride, making it the ideal time to indulge your heirloom obsessions. We love to toss just-picked varieties with olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. We let the flavors marry for half an hour before spooning fragrant, “sweating” heaps of them over creamy burrata on toasted baguette. Top with fresh basil.

Prosciutto-wrapped Marinated Galia Melon + Nickel & Nickel Medina Vineyard Chardonnay. Exactly what should you use as a marinade? There are a variety of options, however, Chef Trevor favors simplicity, with nice olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. “Just a hint of fennel pollen really elevates it, but isn’t required,” he says.

Smoked Salmon Rillettes + Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay. Technically, this takes longer than 30 minutes, but the fragrant smoky-fish and butter flavors of really good salmon rillettes are the ultimate Friday night showstopper, especially when paired alongside whites on the creamier, more textured side. The good news, one of our favorite versions, here, can be prepared up to three days in advance.

Drink some wine. Talk with friends. Throw some fresh summer corn on the grill, which, BTW, always tastes great with all three of our Nickel & Nickel Chardonnays. Discover more recipes that pair beautifully with our Single-Vineyard Whites, and make this your #BestChardonnay summer ever.


In a Nutshell: Nickel & Nickel’s 2014 Harvest

on November 17, 2014

Cheers to a fantastic 2014 harvest! We started harvesting fruit at the beginning of September, building to a crescendo that ended on October 14th – the majority of the fruit came in that last two-and-a-half weeks. Overall, we experienced ideal conditions for harvest save for some rain towards the last week of September, which only softened tannins in our Oakville, Yountville and hillside wines.


10426180_10152511701889086_1642390701212534517_n10514328_10152528326249086_2908955238307328132_o Left: Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay from our annual Blessing of the Grapes
Right: Beautiful Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon fruit

The vintage perfectly encapsulates our single-vineyard winemaking philosophy with the distinctive vineyard expressions evident in the wines. Winemaker Darice Spinelli notes that the vineyard expression is “very pronounced” this year with our Cabernets, ranging from elegant wines graced with soft tannins to bold, more powerful and robust expressions. You can, however, expect the typical red and dark berry fruits characteristic of each vineyard.

We’re also very excited for the development of our 2014 Nickel & Nickel Chardonnays. The wines are filling our fermentation barns with gorgeous aromatics and are already offering beautiful, forward fruit flavors with great balance. We can’t wait to share this vintage with you.


The Nickel & Nickel team

Harvest Begins

on September 8, 2014

Today with our first bins of Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay we kicked off Harvest 2014! This vineyard, located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, benefits from cool, often foggy, mornings and evenings, and sunny days. Winemaker Darice Spinelli says they are picking the west-facing hillsides first, which get the full benefit of the afternoon sun, and crews will continue to harvest over a period of several days (perhaps weeks) as different areas of the vineyard ripen fully.

Truchard Chardonnay

As with each start to harvest, the team at Nickel & Nickel gathered for a blessing from Father Charles (from the nearby Carmelite monastery) and a toast. Join us in wishing for a safe, successful Harvest 2014!

For a few more photos, visit our Facebook page.


Wine Club Shipments: A New Look

on January 28, 2013

Have you noticed the change? With each wine club shipment we send out, we’ve always enclosed a letter from Dirk Hampson or from Larry Maguire and complete wine notes.

Well, beginning with our first club shipment this year for the Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Club, we are introducing re-designed materials. We’re still sending you the letter and full wine notes, but we’re also adding a recipe to pair with one of the wines and beautiful photographs from our home. Each shipment enclosure is tailored to your wine club.

Those of you who are members of the Single-Vineyard Club have already received this new enclosure. Take a look and let us know what you think: For our Club Cabernet and Dolce Far Niente Society members, keep an eye out for these next month.

Club Cab

We will also have an online version of these booklets available on our wine club shipment page, so you can refer to them, print or share with friends. Take a look at the Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Club booklet here. (The link is under Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Club and reads “View Brochure.”)

We hope you enjoy the new look and find the information useful.