The team puts all their attention into one, yes, only one estate grown exquisite wine. And, it’s made in minuscule quantities.
It’s impossible to sign up for this wine. You must be invited to join. And, get an allocation. And, then face the difficult decision of who to share the bottle with. Choose wisely if at all. Beg, plead, call the winery, but it will do no good. We followed them for months and recently met them in their gorgeous hidden vineyard oasis in Napa. Excitedly, we’re eager and happy to announce we have some bottles of their new release, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The son of iconic, late Californian wine producer Gil Nickel (founder of international Napa brands Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce), Jeremy Nickel grew up surrounded by a life in some of California’s most established and enviable wineries. Early in life Jeremy and his father, Gil toured a number of first growth houses in Bordeaux. Unsurprisingly, 12 year old Jeremy was not that interested, turning to his father, "Dad, when I’m older do I have to be in the wine industry?". Gil paused, looked Jeremy in the eye and replied, "Son, when you’re older, if you are lucky, you will get to be in the wine industry."
In 2003 the Vineyard House, which is tucked in a hidden valley next to it’s famous neighbors Harlan and Futo wineries, was bestowed to Jeremy after his father’s passing.
Today, the 2009 vintage is the 5th release for The Vineyard House. As a silent tribute to the remarkable man who inspired the pursuit for Jeremy to create the world’s finest wine, Gil's name is secretly located in the label and Jeremy continues to give a significant portion of the proceeds from each bottle to eradicate the disease that took his life.
Jeremy is known for his toasts around Napa and at the tables of the world’s wine elite that simply follow: "Here is to the things in life that make our Fathers proud."
To that we raise our glass (filled with the 2009 Vineyard House Cabernet) to you too Jeremy.
The team at The Vineyard House does what every other winery wishes it had the courage to do. Every year, Owner, Jeremy Nickel and winemaker Bill Balentine host a blind tasting of California’s top 10 Cabernet Sauvignons in Las Vegas. Bringing together dozens of Master Sommeliers from Michelin star restaurants and luxury hotels it makes for a powerful room. However, it’s what comes next that truly makes this blind tasting noteworthy and bold.
Placed in brown paper bags, the 10 wines include some with perfect scores and all record breakers at international auction houses. Wines such as Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow, Arajuo, Grace Family, Hundred Acre, Colgin and more are lined up, hidden among them is a bottle of The Vineyard House. The Master Sommeliers try all 10 wines and then rank them from first place to tenth. Every year The Vineyard House has finished second or third. We’d love to reveal who they beat out, but we promised not to tell. As they remind us, they don’t do this as a publicity stunt, rather, for the ongoing quest to produce the absolute very best Cabernet Sauvignon. Already off to a great start this $200 Cabernet beats out $550+ bottles.
Blueberry and dark black cherry greet the nose with hints of sage and sweet toasted oak. The palate is full and rich with notes of chocolate, blackberries and a touch of spice which leads into a long velvety finish. Bill Balantine, Winemaker.