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Nickel & Nickel Carpenter Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The Carpenter Vineyard is located just east of the city of Napa, at the base of the Vaca mountain range in the Coombsville area. The soils are composed of deep, volcanic, gravelly loam, which drains well throughout the winter months. Cool growing conditions contribute heavily to the character of this wine. Fog hangs over the vineyard until mid-morning and prevailing winds from the bay move through in the afternoon. The summer days rarely reach extreme temperatures, so the vines enjoy nice, temperate conditions. These cooler conditions allow for slow ripening and long "hang time", which helps develop tannin maturity. This vineyard is one of the last to be harvested each year.

    The spring of 1999 arrived later than usual and flowering occurred during cool weather, reducing crop production. The weather pattern was a blessing for this vineyard, since it is located in a cooler area and would have had difficulty ripening a heavier crop. A mild summer was followed by a warm, relatively dry fall, which allowed the grapes to further develop and mature their tannins before being picked in October.

    In 1999, the Carpenter Vineyard produced a Cabernet of great depth and volume, packaged in the bold, impressive style of the vineyard. Very similar in profile to hillside fruit, aromas of cassis, tea and herb meld into currant, tobacco and dark chocolate notes with a solid middle palate supported by firm, rich tannins. This tight core of fruit surrounded by fleshy tannins is the signature of the vineyard.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Nickel & Nickel

    Nickel & Nickel

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    Nickel & Nickel, Napa Valley, California
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    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.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

    In the Glass

    High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

    Sommelier Secrets

    Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    PIM39730_1999_1999 Item# 54279