2007 Nickel & Nickel "John C. Sullenger Vineyard" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1060719 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. Bordeaux-like nose offers cassis, black cherry, graphite, mocha and leather. Lush on entry, then suave in the middle, with redcurrant, plum, licorice and mocha flavors given definition by harmonious acidity. Slightly medicinal on the back but I like this wine's texture and give. The dusty, building tannins spread out horizontally to coat the palate. (ST)  (5/2011)

91 points James Suckling

 Spices, milk chocolate, and berry aromas follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and a sweet tobacco, raisin and spice finish. Flavors of tea and herbs develop with some air. Pull the cork after 2013.  (4/2011)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From a valley floor vineyard, the opaque purple-hued 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon John C. Sullenger Vineyard offers up restrained aromas of subtle smoke, graphite and black fruits. More narrowly constructed and tannic, it is among the most backward wines in this portfolio, possessing a Bordeaux-like structure and flavor profile. It requires 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 20-25 years. 91+ (RP)  (12/2010)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 From the vineyard surrounding the Nickel & Nickel winery in Oakville, this grows on the valley floor just north of the Oakville Crossroad and east of 29. It's a floral Cabernet with scents of roses and hints of green. The cherry flavors fill out a fleshy texture, while tart, sanguine tannins provide a touch of bitterness to balance the fruit. This needs several years in the cellar to meld.  (12/2010)

Jancis Robinson

 As delicate as Napa Cab gets, with a subtlety missing in so many other wines. The nose is reticent, the flavours of mannered blackberry and cherry, with a strong graphite streak. Medium-full-bodied and understated, this is a Cal Cab that will show its stuff in the future. 18/20 points (LM)  (2/2011)

K&L Notes

Nickel & Nickel was begun in Oakville in 1997 by the owners of Far Niente (the similarity of their labels is hard to miss). In contrast to Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel is dedicated to producing varietal wines from distinct individual vineyards. Each vineyard is farmed and vinified to best illustrate its unique site. In turn, some vineyards are not far apart in distance, but the wines are very different in character. The Sullenger vineyard is the winery's home vineyard in Oakville and was planted in 1989 and 2003 to 30 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.9