Founded in 1885 by John Benson, the Far Niente estate, which name echoes the Italian expression "Dolce Far Niente", meaning "the joy of doing nothing", experienced significant growth up to when it was abandoned in 1919, at the beginning of Prohibition. Having remained untouched for sixty years, this Napa Valley estate was bought by Gil and Beth Nickel in 1979, who started significant renovation work in order to restore the estate to its original glory.
Inspired by the great winegrowing estates on the other side of the Atlantic, Gil Nickel only produces two grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, for which the winery recently celebrated its 40th vintage.
Thanks to its history, its terroir and the quality of its wines, the Far Niente estate is an iconic Napa Valley name which has actively participated in the international development of great Californian wines.
The estate is registered on the National Register of Historic Places as one of Napa Valley’s most exclusive sites, most notably for its cellars, which were the first cellars to be built underground in North America.
This 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville from the Far Niente estate is made from a rigorous selection of terroirs (Calistoga, Oak Knoll, St. Helena, Stags Leap, Diamond Mountain and Yountville), which complement the vineyards at the Oakville estate. Each of these terroirs contribute to the signature Far Niente style, which has, since 1982, produced wines which reveal the greatest Chardonnays of Napa Valley with excellence and authenticity.
A very dry January was followed by heavy rainfall in February and March. Mild springtime conditions during budding and a late flowering ensured a full and uniform harvest. The summer mildness was combined with hot days and cool nights, conditions which promoted a good ripening process at the vineyard.
Winemaking and ageing
Ageing lasts for 17 months in French oak barrels (65% new, 35% barrels of one previous wine).
The greatly elegant nose mixes fruity fragrances with spicy, pastry and floral notes.
The expressive palate seduces with its rich aromatic palette with aromas of red fruits, black tea and spices. The tannins are fine, concentrated and fresh. The finish is silky and persistent.