Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Cave Collection United States California Napa County Napa Valley Red 2006

Winemaker's Notes:

Since the first vintage of Chardonnay in 1979 and the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, Far Niente has held true to its philosophy of producing estate wines with a consistent house style. While many wineries make wine at several different quality levels, Far Niente produces one Chardonnay and one Cabernet Sauvignon of the highest quality possible from their estate vineyards; if the wine doesn’t meet expectations, it doesn’t make the final blend. The twenty-plus years of resounding success as a highly regarded Napa Valley winery is attributed to their pursuit of these exacting standards and commitment to quality without compromise. This 2007 Cabernet, from a highly anticipated vintage, offers intense aromas of blackberry and boysenberry along with sweet licorice and perfume. A sweet and silky entry is followed by a velvety midpalate, rich with layers of ripe purple fruit and cassis. Well-integrated and melting tannins lead to a long and juicy finish, allowing enjoyment now, or cellar to savor later.

Region: USA » California » Napa County » Oakville

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Color: Red
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
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Far Niente Winery:
Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. Benson hired architect Hamden McIntyre, creator of the former Christian Brothers winery – now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – to design the building. Constructed against a hillside in western Oakville, Far Niente functio... Read more
Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. Benson hired architect Hamden McIntyre, creator of the former Christian Brothers winery – now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – to design the building. Constructed against a hillside in western Oakville, Far Niente functioned as a gravity flow winery, gently moving the grapes through each stage of production. Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Sixty years later, in 1979, Gil Nickel purchased the winery and adjacent vineyard and began a three-year restoration of the property. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, from an Italian phrase that romantically translated means "without a care," was found carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day. We felt an obligation to preserve the name with the hope that we could recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care. Nineteen eighty-two marked the return of winemaking to Far Niente, with the harvest of the winery’s first Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay was also produced at the winery for the first time that year; the 1979, ’80 and ’81 vintage wines were made at an offsite location. Today, the winery continues to focus on producing only the two varietal wines. California’s Oldest Bottle of Wine Far Niente’s past and present were reunited in 1998, when a bottle of Far Niente Sweet Muscat, vintage 1886, was discovered in a private cellar in Marin County, CA. The bottle exhibits the original label, cork and capsule, and is believed to be the oldest intact bottle of California wine in existence today. The label, featuring a sepia-tone line drawing of a hammock laden with grape clusters, is thought to have been designed by Benson’s nephew, artist Winslow Homer. Historians of the artist liken the style of the hammock on the label to the same technique employed in Homer’s other works. Eric Rudd, a historian and expert on Homer, has explained that while Homer created very little commercial art, he was known to have supplied his work to friends and relations for commercial use, including his cousin, Virginia Johnson. This was the same Virginia Johnson who inherited Far Niente in the early 1900s, from her uncle, John Benson. Today, Far Niente wines carry an intricate art nouveau-style parchment label, which was designed by artist Tom Rodrigues in 1979. Rodrigues also designed the labels for Far Niente’s sister wineries Dolce, producer of a late harvest wine, and Nickel & Nickel, a new winery devoted exclusively to producing small-lot, single vineyard wines. When John Benson built Far Niente in 1885, it was evident by the stone archway in the west wall of the cellar that wine caves were to be chiseled into the solid rock. Unfortunately, as a result of Mr. Benson's death and the forced closure brought on by Prohibition, these caves never materialized. It was in 1980, one year after Far Niente was purchased by Gil Nickel, that Alf Burtleson was hired by Gil to dig a small 60-foot wine cave in the hill behind the winery. Little did the two men know at the time, that the Far Niente wine caves would become the first to be constructed in North America since the turn of the century, spawning a new industry in California wine country. Almost ten years after the first excavation and accompanied by Alf's expertise, Gil undertook the adventurous project of expanding the wine caves to 15,060 square feet. At the time, Alf and his four-man crew utilized a 22-foot long electric and hydraulic drill used in England for digging coal mines, and completed the shotcrete-lined caves in 1991. A second phase, adjoining an additional 13,000 square feet were added in 1995, and a third phase, bringing the total cave area to 40,000 square feet, was completed in 2001. “Caves have qualities beneficial to wine aging that are impossible to capture in an above-ground building,” says Dirk Hampson, director of winemaking at Far Niente. Much attention and concern have been devoted to the aesthetics in the integral design of the caves, which consist of recessed lighting, back-lit niches, a large octagonal wine library, and a number of 45-degree tunnels. In addition to the wonders of aging wine in beautiful surroundings, much can be attributed to the practical benefits of storing and aging wine underground. A constant temperature of 58-60 degrees Fahrenheit, accompanied by natural humidity, contribute to low evaporation in a consistent environment. Far Niente's caves currently house approximately 2,500 French oak barrels. Read less

Member Reviews for Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Cave Collection United States California Napa County Napa Valley Red

Add your review
Snooth User: robg9000
32190910
5.00 5
12/09/2009

a great cab - fantastic fruit, great structure, floral notes on the exhale through the nose - super wine - next time I'm not sharing the bottle!


External Reviews for Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Cave Collection United States California Napa County Napa Valley Red

External Review
11/25/2009

WS: 89 Points


External Review
05/02/2009

Far Niente's Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon combines our noble vineyards in Oakville with our passion and commitment to making the very best wine possible. It is these natural and human factors in our winemaking process which define the


External Review
01/19/2010

95 Points - Wine Enthusiast "One for the cellar. Shows a dramatic structure of firm, dusty tannins, brightened with acidity, framing complex, long and deep flavors of black currants, cassis, dark unsweetened chocolate, smoky cedar, anise and spices, undergirded by a firm minerality. Best after 2010 and through 2014, at least."


External Review
07/10/2010

A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 2006 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml


External Review
Source: NapaCabs.com
11/06/2012

The Far Niente 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of very dark fruit, black currant, dark chocolate, dust/earth, vanillan and perfume are layered behind the ripeness.


External Review
05/17/2010

Sleek and complex, full-bodied and Bordeaux-like, with an earthy mineral edge to the dried berry and currant flavors that are subdued and tightly wound, ending with earthy tannins. Needs time. Best from 2011 through 2017. 12,200 cases made. -JL


External Review
Source: Astor Wines & Spirits
04/22/2010

Coming from the Oakville area of Napa Valley, this dense powerhouse of a wine has a focused core of pure cassis fruit, with blackcurrant and black cherry flavors at the periphery. Lush tannins and balanced acidity make this a wine to drink today or cellar for 5-10 years.


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Since the first vintage of Chardonnay in 1979 and the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, Far Niente has held true to its philosophy of producing estate wines with a consistent house style. While many wineries make wine at several different quality levels, Far Niente produces one Chardonnay and one Cabernet Sauvignon of the highest quality possible from their estate vineyards; if the wine doesn’t meet expectations, it doesn’t make the final blend. The twenty-plus years of resounding success as a highly regarded Napa Valley winery is attributed to their pursuit of these exacting standards and commitment to quality without compromise. This 2007 Cabernet, from a highly anticipated vintage, offers intense aromas of blackberry and boysenberry along with sweet licorice and perfume. A sweet and silky entry is followed by a velvety midpalate, rich with layers of ripe purple fruit and cassis. Well-integrated and melting tannins lead to a long and juicy finish, allowing enjoyment now, or cellar to savor later.

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