Nickel & Nickel Branding Iron Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The 2009 Branding Iron has beautiful, ripe fruit flavors of berry and black cherry that coat the palate. Elements of earth and spice, in combination with the vanillin from the oak, add layering. This wine has a classic Oakville structure, which is an indicator of good ageability, and the generous fruit profile allows one to enjoy the wine now but will surely reward those with a little patience.
Wine Enthusiast - "Beautiful in every respect, this has ripe flavors of blackberries, blueberries and cassis. It shows the classic Oakville structure of firm, hard tannins, elegance and ageworthiness."
International Wine Cellar - "Full ruby-red. Aromas of black cherry, licorice and spices complicated by medicinal herbs. Velvety and seamless in the mouth, combining a creamy richness with youthfully medicinal dark fruit and spice flavors. This chewy, concentrated wine finishes very long, with tooth-coating tannins that call for a good five or six years of cellaring. Strong potential here.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Branding Iron Vineyard is one of the richest and most powerful wines in this lineup from Nickel & Nickel. At the same time, it has plenty of near-term appeal. A dark, voluptuous wine, the 2009 flows with the essence of blueberry jam, blackberries, black currants, cloves, vanillin and violets. The Branding Iron is the most overtly fruit driven of Nickel and Nickel’s 2009s, yet there is plenty of underlying structure in the tannins. Ideally readers should give the 2009 another few years in the cellar to allow the tannins to start melting away. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029."
Wine Spectator - "A rough and tumble effort for now, but should smooth out, mixing rich dried currant and dark berry with potent loamy earth, dried herb, sage and cedar. Ends with fine detail. Best from 2014 through 2026."
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Nickel & Nickel Winery
Nickel & Nickel is devoted exclusively to producing 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinctive personality of each vineyard. Established in 1997 by the partners of Far Niente, the winery is based in Oakville, California, on the 42-acre John C. Sullenger vineyard property. Nickel & Nickel produces single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, but also makes single-vineyard Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. View all Nickel & Nickel Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.