I may have said this last year about this time but I’m going to say it again: I am amazed how alive the valley is during May and June. I know Napa Valley Wine Auction has a lot to do with it—that weekend alone brings in people from all over the world. Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente also have some great events during these months, including the Nickel & Nickel Futures Barrel Tasting is always has a good showing.
We replanted both of our gardens two weeks ago to summer vegetables and we are already reaping the bounty of our labor. We’ll showcase our wines and garden through the summer at our private and winery events. This week’s excitement is Bacchanalia—an extravagant wine club dinner we hold at Nickel & Nickel in the barrel cellar. We will serve a five-course dinner paired with rare, library wines. It’s shaping up to be a great party!
It was a treat to have Lamborghini at Nickel & Nickel during Auction Napa Valley!
The vineyards are green and burgeoning with new growth—well on their way to producing the 2013 vintage—but a lot of us here at the winery are still thinking about 2012. That’s right, we’re talking Nickel & Nickel Napa Cabernet Futures.
Wine Club Manager Julie Zanze shared a bit about Futures and the Thief Club earlier. What we love about the opportunity to acquire these wines right now is that fans are able to snap up their favorite wines among the vintage before they sell out. (If you’re a long-time friend of Nickel & Nickel, you know this happens all too often!)
True, a little patience is required as the wines mature in barrel, undergo bottling and then take on a little more age in bottle—but it’s well worth it. Wines are shipped in late winter of the year the wines release—so lucky 2010 Cabernet Futures buyers have already received their wines this year, while the rest of us are awaiting the August release party.
For more on our Futures program, including 2012 wine notes, our 2012 Futures Diary, information on our Thief Club, and how to acquire 2012 Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Futures, visit our Futures website.
We had a wonderful time at our barrel tasting event on Saturday! We hope you were able to join us. If not, call us at (707) 967-9600 to arrange for a tasting of select 2012 Nickel & Nickel Cabernets. To view our photo album from the event, click here.
With 2012 coming to a quick conclusion, we sat down with Winemaker Darice Spinelli for a year-end wrap-up. As you will see, harvest 2012 is still a vivid memory.
What stands out for you about 2012?
Definitely the abundance of this vintage—that was phenomenal. We were up 31% from what I was expecting, and we were up by 73% over last year’s yields. And the quality appears to be exceptional.
Were there any changes or enhancements brought to the winemaking process this year?
For the last two harvests, we have used the optical sorter. This machine allows us to identify color as a tool to remove anything that is undesirable. In our case, we were removing things that were green and brown (stems, leaves, shot berries) and keeping anything purple. We had a team hand sorting, too, but the optical sorter almost doubled our ability to process the grapes. Our ability to work faster is exactly what we needed given the tonnage from the 2012 harvest . That’s how we were able to keep our quality high.
View our optical sorter in action in this recent harvest video.
What characteristics are you seeing in the 2012 wines?
The wines are very well balanced. They’re still going through fermentation and still changing at this point, but they have really nice structure, great fruit flavors, incredible color and nice aromas, so it’s looking like it will be a great year. The vineyard characteristics are really showing through.
Is there anything else that stands out for you about 2012? Anything you’re looking forward to in 2013?
I’ve been thinking about harvest for the last few months, but earlier in the year we bottled our 2010 Cabernets. [Mark your calendars for the official release on August 10, 2013.] Again, these are good, solid wines. We just tasted through our spring releases—also really balanced wines. These Chardonnays, Merlots and Syrahs taste wonderful at this early age, so it will be exciting to show everybody these wines in 2013. We also have a new Chardonnay coming out next year from Stiling Vineyard that we bottled this last year. It has a beautiful minerality that can’t be beat.
Our annual Futures event is something we always look forward to. This year we’ll taste the 2012 Cabernets, and you’ll have the opportunity to purchase these wines at current release prices. It’s a fun, popular event and I guarantee that you will enjoy this vintage.
Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year! See you in 2013.