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Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate Bottled 2001

Winemaker's Notes:

Vineyard Notes: Far Niente’s Cabernet Sauvignon is produced exclusively from grapes grown in the Oakville Viticultural Area of Napa Valley. Ninety percent of the grapes are from The Stelling Vineyard, our estate vineyard located behind the winery at the base of the western hills of Oakville. The remaining ten percent of the fruit comes from our Sullenger Vineyard and two other small estates in Oakville. Harvest Notes: The year started off with some of the worst spring frost the valley had seen in 20 years. Luckily, our Cabernet was not affected. The rest of the growing season was moderate, with a couple of heat spikes in May and July leading to a “hurry up and wait” harvest. Crush seemed like it was going to start early with a heat spell in late August, but then the weather changed and remained cool for about 2-3 weeks in mid-September. We waited through this cooler weather, bringing in most of our reds the last week of September and the first week of October, and were rewarded with a ripe and layered wine. Tasting Notes: Aromas of huckleberry, dark cocoa and chocolate are complemented by a touch of vanillan in the nose. Upon entry, this Cabernet is soft and lush, with a dense mid palate. Flavors of boysenberry and black fruits are supported by tannins that are chewy, yet smooth and lingering. There is a very long finish to this wine. Appellation: Oakville Harvest Dates: 9/30 – 10/13/01 Varietals: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Merlot 3% Petit Verdot Skin Contact: up to 34 days Aging: 20 months in French oak (95% new, 5% once-used) Fermentation: Typical for red wine Release Date: April 2004 Cases Produced: 8,080 cases

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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 Napa Valley Estate Bottled

Add your review
Snooth User: meg1
8782457
5.00 5
09/14/2008

Soft (for a Cab) and structured without overt fruit and tannins.


Snooth User: aghenry2
82534342
3.50 5
04/21/2011

Three and a half glasses


External Reviews for Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate Bottled

External Review
Source: Fame Wine and Tobacco
07/13/2010

Aromas of huckleberry, dark cocoa and chocolate are complemented by a touch of vanillan in the nose. Upon entry, this Cabernet is soft and lush, with a dense mid palate. Flavors of boysenberry and black fruits are supported by tannins that are chewy, yet smooth and lingering. There is a very long finish to this wine.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
08/19/2011

Well made and classic, a wine that combines potency of fruit and firm tannins with a graceful harmony that makes it easy to drink tonight. Oak adds smoky vanillins as an additional theme. As fine as it is now, the wonderful balance ensures longterm ... Wine Enthusiast. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 2001 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 1500ml


External Review
Source: Fame Wine and Tobacco
09/23/2011

"Aromas of huckleberry


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
11/14/2013

Well made and classic a wine that combines potency of fruit and firm tannins with a graceful harmony that makes it easy to drink tonight. Oak adds smoky vanillins as an additional theme. As fine as it is now the wonderful balance ensures longterm aging through the next decade. Wine Enthusiast.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
11/14/2013

One of the finest Cabernets to emerge from this expensive and self-conscious winery Far Niente s 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate offers a deep ruby/purple color as well as fragrant aromas of black cherries and currants. Elegant and medium-bodied with soft tannin and fine balance it can be drunk now and over the next 7-8 years. Robert Parkers Wine Advocate.



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Vineyard Notes: Far Niente’s Cabernet Sauvignon is produced exclusively from grapes grown in the Oakville Viticultural Area of Napa Valley. Ninety percent of the grapes are from The Stelling Vineyard, our estate vineyard located behind the winery at the base of the western hills of Oakville. The remaining ten percent of the fruit comes from our Sullenger Vineyard and two other small estates in Oakville. Harvest Notes: The year started off with some of the worst spring frost the valley had seen in 20 years. Luckily, our Cabernet was not affected. The rest of the growing season was moderate, with a couple of heat spikes in May and July leading to a “hurry up and wait” harvest. Crush seemed like it was going to start early with a heat spell in late August, but then the weather changed and remained cool for about 2-3 weeks in mid-September. We waited through this cooler weather, bringing in most of our reds the last week of September and the first week of October, and were rewarded with a ripe and layered wine. Tasting Notes: Aromas of huckleberry, dark cocoa and chocolate are complemented by a touch of vanillan in the nose. Upon entry, this Cabernet is soft and lush, with a dense mid palate. Flavors of boysenberry and black fruits are supported by tannins that are chewy, yet smooth and lingering. There is a very long finish to this wine. Appellation: Oakville Harvest Dates: 9/30 – 10/13/01 Varietals: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Merlot 3% Petit Verdot Skin Contact: up to 34 days Aging: 20 months in French oak (95% new, 5% once-used) Fermentation: Typical for red wine Release Date: April 2004 Cases Produced: 8,080 cases

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