Far Niente, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
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A beautifully balanced and elegant wine with textured blackcurrant and marachino cherry fruit and complementing cedar oak, long and full of silky finesse.
One of the classic wineries of the Napa Valley, Far Niente derives its name from the Italian phrase 'Dolce Far Niente' - 'how sweet it is to do nothing'. It was founded in 1885 and flourished until the advent of prohibition. Abandoned for over 60 years, the winery was purchased in 1979 by Gil Nickel who started the long process of restoring it. Today, they own 80 hectares of vineyard, across three different sites, of what many consider to be some of the finest viticultural land in the Napa Valley. Since restoration, Far Niente has been dedicated to the production of the finest Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon and worldwide demand always exceeds supply.
The 2018 growing season began with a dry January, followed by heavy, much-needed rainfall throughout February and March. While budbreak and flowering occurred later than in the previous few vintages, the moderate spring weather ensured even fruit set and a full crop. Summer saw mild temperatures with abundant sunshine, warm days, cool nights and foggy mornings. August saw muggier, hazy days; however the grapes continued to ripen slowly and evenly. Harvesting began during the last week in September.
The Martin Stelling Vineyard, located behind the winery in Oakville, is the cornerstone of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted on some of the most beautiful, gravelly loam soil in the Napa Valley, the vineyard uniformly produces wines with supple tannins, bright, vibrant fruit and beautiful tannin structure.
The grapes were manually sorted in the winery, in order to select the very best fruit from the harvest. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts in stainless steel tanks with pump-overs, followed by 15 days' skin contact maceration to extract the desired levels of colour, fruit flavours and fine tannins. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was matured for 17 months in French oak, of which 68% was new and 32% was second passage.
Aromas of ripe berries, cassis, liquorice and chocolate are seamlessly underpinned by hints of layers of toasted sweet oak. The silky, lush palate of rich plum, blackberry and oak spice is well-structured and polished, with fine grain tannins that melt into a long, elegant finish.
Cabernet Sauvignon 96%, Petit Verdot 3%, Malbec 1%