Nickel & Nickel (Napa) with Tom Gilhooly
N&N Winery sits between Mondavi, Opus One, Turnbull and Cakebread
2004 Cabernet Sauvignons – all 100% varietal
Carpenter Vineyard (Napa Valley) – very deep purple color – sweet crushed black berries, some wood spice, brambly raspberries and summer woods – fairly full style on the palate with big fruit – medium tannins and dryness – big spices with deep fruit and grip on the finish – moderate length – slight medicinal (in a good way) flavors on the mid-palate. Last vintage of production for Carpenter – vineyard was replanted to Chardonnay.
Branding Iron (Oakville) – sits in front of Martha’s Vineyard – subdued nose with sweet crushed fruit – quite soft and rich on the palate – amazing intensity and depth with a smooth approach – less tannic than the Carpenter, supple even – beautiful complexity of the fruit – balanced tannins on the backside – still a bit of grip but really quite good.
Tench (Oakville)– redder color – coolest vineyard – planted in 1969 – right next to Screaming Eagle - sweet supple aromas – supper soft on the palate – really juicy on the palate with great sweet vanilla and red fruit flavors –good grip on the palate – balanced finish with decent tannins – not as huge, but quite drinkable.
John C. Sullenger (Oakville) – purple red color – deepest aromatics – probably the most complex so far – layered and ripe fruits aromas that carry through to the palate – very big, but balanced style loaded all the way through – definitely the best.
Rock Cairn (Oakville) – deep purple color – sweet, blackberries and smoke spice with a bit of mint and sweet oak – smooth and quite supple on the palate – big and juicy with great mouth-feel- slightly softer attack, but really delivers through the finish with a good grip and a big finish – this is Napa Cab!
Vogt (Howell Mountain) – dark – probably the darkest and most opulent in color – sweet oak and blackberries – deep cinnamon flavors and Asian spices – good balance on the palate with tang and intensity – lengthy and complex finish – quite good.
Dragonfly Vineyard (St Helena) – not tasted