Benchmark Wines by

Far Niente

The Winery

Far Niente

Located in the esteemed Napa Valley, Far Niente was established in 1885 by John Benson who made the trek to California in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. Although he was forced to close and abandon the Oakville winery from 1920-1933 due to Prohibition, in 1979 Gil Nickel purchased the winery and vineyards and transformed them. It wasn’t until builders discovered a stone with the words ‘far niente’ inscribed in it that the winery changed its name. The words are part of an Italian expression, il dolce far niente, which translates to ‘sweetness of doing nothing’ or ‘without a care.’ The winery only makes two wines, one made from Cabernet Sauvignon and another made from Chardonnay, which they have been producing since the first vintage in 1979. Far Niente sources most of their fruit from different vineyards throughout the Oakville and Coombsville appellations, and works closely with its sister wineries Nickel & Nickel, Enroute and Bella Union Winery.

www.farniente.com

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Tasting Notes

WA93
The finest Cabernet Sauvignon I have ever tasted from Far Niente may be the 2007 Estate. Its dense purple color is accompanied by fragrant aromatics of creme de cassis, spice box, underbrush, and forest floor. Voluptuously-textured and full-bodied with superb purity and depth as well as a layered, complete finish, this terrific wine should be drinkable before the 2006, but age just as long 20-25+ years.
WSM93
The long, cool 2007 growing produced exceptional cabernet fruit at Far Niente's Martin Stelling Vineyard, a 100-acre site rising up into the Mayacamas hills above Oakville. It has the freshness and brightness of the best 2007s, and seems to do everything right, like the star quarterback in high school who happend to be handsome and gets straight A's. No, it's not complex, but it may get there in time. For now, it's all red plum flavor, spicy, lively and sleek. The balance makes it approachable with roast rack of lamb, and will hold it for long-term aging.

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