We are very happy to introduce to you one of California’s most iconic white wines – Far Niente Chardonnay.
A winery was established on the current site in Oakville, Napa in 1885 by Gold Rush prospector John Benson (Uncle to the famous American artist Winslow Homer). Benson constructed one of the first gravity-fed wineries in the U.S and produced various styles of wine. One such bottle is still in existence today, a sweet Muscat from the 1886 vintage making it the oldest bottle of Californian produced wine.
Sadly, due to the Great Depression and Prohibition, the large stone built winery fell into dis-repair. It wasn’t until 1982 that the Estate was fully renovated and brought back to former glory. It was during this time that renovators discovered an Italian phrase carved into the masonary. That phrase was Far Niente meaning ‘Without Care’. And, so, the iconic legend was born. Now made by top female winemaker Nicole Marchesi (since 2005), Far Niente only make 2 wines, this Chardonnay from just 37.6 hectares from the Coombsville area of Carneros, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from closer to Oakville itself.
This is a premium example of top quality Californian Chardonnay. Made from specially selected grapes and vinified in the restored gravity-fed winery. The wine is 100% barrel fermented in French oak (57% new, 43% old) and matured on lees for a further 10 months. The wine is not allowed to enter into malolactic conversion, this helps preserve the varietal freshness and off-set the influence of the oak beautifully.
These techniques result in subtle, tropical flavours, complex aromas and an uncommon richness that has long been associated with the iconic Far Niente Chardonnay. The 2017 presents fresh and bright aromatics of tropical fruit, melon and hints of fig. This wine is beautifully balanced by lightly toasted oak. A silky attack develops into a smooth and rich mid-palate. Deep flavours of toasted nuts support the bursting flavour of melon and light citrus accompanied by a long and mouth-filling finish. A superlative wine.
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