Nickel & Nickel C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2018
The 2018 C.C. Ranch is all about finesse, with lifted plum and floral aromatics opening onto a beautifully plush palate. Ripe raspberry and plum flavors are underscored by seductive spicy notes, with soft tannins gently supporting the wine from entry to completion. With fruit that grows brighter and fresher as the wine progresses to the finish, this Rutherford Cabernet may be one of the most approachable and mouthwatering of the vintage.
The 2018 growing season kicked off in late February and eased into a mild spring that gave us extended flowering and uniform clusters throughout the vineyard. Summer continued with an even trend, with consistent temperatures allowing fruit to have beautiful, extended hang time. With no heat spikes we were able to wait patiently for every cluster to achieve perfect phenolic maturity. A no rush approach to harvest allowed fruit to develop beautifully on the vine and the Cabernet came into the winery with mature tannins, great acidity and perfect ripeness. This vintage was “near picture-perfect,” and the resulting wines are generous yet structured and expand on the palate.
Tenacity, innovation and a single-minded commitment to “vineyard and varietal” have established Nickel & Nickel as the leader in single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Every Cabernet offers the purest expression of its vineyard. No two vineyards are alike. And, as the release of the new 2018 Nickel & Nickel Cabernets can attest, neither are any two vintages. Taste the pure, powerful expressions of unparalleled Napa Valley vineyards. The 2018 Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Cabernets are crafted with excellence and made to be savored.
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The fruit for this broad-shouldered, statuesque red comes from 15 specially selected acres of the 115-acre C.C. Ranch just west of the Silverado Trail, where vines grow on well-drained gravelly loam soils. The nose exudes seductive scents of lavender, brown-sugared black cherry, and the tiniest hint of eucalyptus. Fine tannins envelop notes of violets while black pepper dots slate, soy sauce, and black olive, and black-cherry skins linger alongside nutmeg-kissed oak. The iconic dusty mouthfeel of Rutherford is prevalent.
Blackcurrant, black-olive and lavender aromas follow through to a full body with firm, chewy tannins that need time to soften and come together. Rather tannic now.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon C.C. Ranch is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged in French oak, 48% new, for 18 months. With a deep garnet-purple color, it comes skipping out of the glass with bright, cheery scents of ripe black cherries, mulberries and crushed black currants with suggestions of chocolate box, menthol, lavender and plum preserves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely coated with crunchy black berry layers, supported by fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and fragrant.
The toasted oak adds a note of salt to the gravelly texture of this 100% varietal wine. It is tight and youthful in tannin and weight. As it unwinds in the glass, it reveals a structured plushness of rich black cherry and currant.
All Rutherford Cabernet, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon C.C. Ranch offers up a juicy, unevolved bouquet of mulberries, blueberries, sappy green herbs, graphite, and a touch of earth. This carries to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated 2018 with good purity, present yet integrated tannins, and outstanding length. It's a little rough around the edges at the moment, but it's going to come together nicely for 2-4 years of bottle age and evolve for 15 years or so.
Plump and friendly, with a core of warm plum and cassis sitting atop a rounded structure while notes of licorice root and roasted cedar fill in through the finish, adding nice contrast.
Bright cherry-jam flavors introduce this clean and spicy cabernet, then tannins turn it dark and steaky. It’s a comfort-food red for home-cooked meals—one taster suggested a classic American meatloaf with ketchup baked into the top.
Nickel & Nickel is devoted to 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines, focused on Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Its winemaking excellence is highlighted in its selection of the very best vineyard locations and unique soil compositions required to make superior single-vineyard wines. Each Nickel & Nickel wine is a celebration of place and reveals how vineyards only miles apart, but of the same grape varietal, yield wines of unique character and distinction.
The Rutherford sub-region of Napa Valley centers on the town of Rutherford and covers some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyard real estate, spanning from the Mayacamas in the west, to the Vaca Mountains on the other side of the valley.
Inside of the Rutherford AVA, bordering the Mayacamas, is a stretch of uplands called the Rutherford Bench. (These bench lands technically run the length of Oakville as well). Mountain runoff creates deep, well-drained, alluvial soils on the bench, giving vine roots plenty of reason to permeate deep into the ground. The result is wine with great structure and complexity.
Rutherford Cabernet Sauvingons and Bordeaux Blends garner substantial attention for their enticing fragrances of dusty earth and dried herbs, broad and juicy mid-palates and lush and fine-grained tannins. The sub-appellation claims some of the valley’s most prized vineyards today, namely Caymus, Rubicon and Beckstoffer Georges III.
It is also home to Napa’s most influential and historic personalities. Thomas Rutherford, responsible for the appellation's name, made serious investments here in grape growing and wine production between the years of 1850 to 1880. Gustave Niebaum purchased a large swath of land and completed his winery in 1887, calling it “Inglenook.” Today this remains the oldest bonded winery in California. Georges Latour founded Beaulieu Vineyard in 1900, making it the oldest continuous winery in the state. Latour also hired the famous enologist, André Tchelistcheff, a man credited for single-handedly defining the modern Napa winemaking style.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.