Bella Union is the latest venture from Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel team. Whereas Far Niente makes only one estate Chardonnay and one estate Cabernet Sauvignon from its Oakville vineyards, Nickel & Nickel’s focus is on single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon made from a number of Napa Valley appellations (along with some Chard, Merlot and Syrah) . With Bella Union, the Cab Sauv blend highlights a 25-acre vineyard on Bella Oaks Lane in the Rutherford AVA. The concept is to blend the cab with Bordeaux varietals from other Napa AVAs.
For the 2015 Bella Union ($80) the mostly cab blend also has small amounts of Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Even at this young age, the wine is velvety smooth, with rich blackberry, juicy black plum and tart black cherry notes. Savory cinnamon and cardamom baking spices, tobacco leaf, black pepper and cocoa round out the long, lingering finish.