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Nickel & Nickel 2012 Merlot Suscol Ranch

Nickel & Nickel winery, located in Oakville, Napa Valley, produces 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines that express the distinct personality of each vineyard. Established by the partners of Far Niente in 1997, Nickel & Nickel is focused on producing single-vineyard wines from the appellation’s most significant vineyards. Construction of a cutting-edge winery facility housed within a vintage 1880s farmstead was completed in the summer of 2003, when the winery officially opened to the public. Merlot is often thought of as the little brother of Cabernet Sauvignon and the two varietals are frequently blended together. Yet, when grown in the right places, Merlot makes an exquisite wine all on its own. I’m tasting one of the three identified Napa Valley vineyards that show entirely different expressions of 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard Merlot.

Opening a bottle of their 2012 Suscol Ranch Merlot, aged for 17 months on French oak (52% new), showing beautiful fresh aromas of dark fruits and berries with a gentle cedar notes. On the palate juicy fresh fruit, plum and blackberry with toasty oak, white pepper and earthy tones, very unique flavor. Smooth tannins, well balanced on a lingering finish great now but cellar will benefit.