Black black black intensely staining black purple with razor-thin pink edges.  A vibrant, young cellar-nose climbs out vehemently at first, screaming “barrel-sample” and begging both a heavy decant and MANY more years in bottle.  Peach-pit black-walnut banana-peel boysenberry trepidaciously drip out, all cloaked in tight baby fruit, tense and ready to explode.

One of the things I have loved Nickel & Nickel for over the years is the amount of elegance and polish they get into the bottle.  This is NOT that wine–well, not YET.  This is one of the most unrefined and unpolished, brash, youthful Nickel & Nickel’s I’ve had.  This is straight FRUIT, green and poised for the long-haul, and let the polish develop where it may–and will.

In the mouth, eloquent, soft-spoken but confident pithy bright preserves make a good attempt at keeping the ridiculous infantile structure at bay and while a big decant plumps things up a bit, the gritty grapefruit minerality drives down your dirt road, slathering jam on chalkboard before Mack-truck tannins level the field. Nowhere is rich spicy mint or crowd-pleasing layers of oak. A fat streak of tobacco tell me these things ARE in there, but it will be many years before they begin glowing in true Nickel & Nickel fashion.

The whole thing is built for business, and definitely for true Cabernet lovers.  This producer makes wine so incredibly yummy on release it is hard to keep your hands off them, but to drink this one now is nearly criminal.  This thing has literally DECADES on it and just might be my new favorite Nickel & Nickel.  Buy three cases and drink one per year.  Yes, you read that right: that’s 36 years.

2013 NICKEL AND NICKEL Cabernet Sauvignon John C. Sullenger Vineyard Oakville Napa Valley 14.9



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