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Nickel & Nickel was founded by the owners of Far Niente Winery in Oakville, CA. Far Niente (“without a care” in Italian), boasts impressive Napa Valley pedigree, first established in 1885 by gold rush “forty-niner” John Benson, who also happened to be the uncle of painter Winslow Homer. Closed by the onset of Prohibition in 1919, Far Niente was purchased by Gil Nickel in the late 1970s, and carefully restored. Today the winery is recognized as one of Napa’s premier producers of chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. Nickel & Nickel is located just down the road, on 42 stunning acres originally settled as a farmstead in the 1880s. The focus is on single vineyard wines, and this exceptional merlot comes from the nine acre Suscol Ranch vineyard, located in Jamieson Canyon, south of the city of Napa. The cool, windy conditions and dense early season fog of the region allow the fruit to mature slowly, controlling tannin development and allowing nuanced flavors to form. Velvety and luscious, this merlot unveils layer after layer of dark plum, cedar, green olive, and spice. Dark, rich fruit notes mingle with tobacco leaf, tar, and spice accents - the overall effect is one of opulent coziness.