I recently had the opportunity to open up the beautifully aged 2000 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon. What a treat! The wine is a blend composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The growing season was moderate with a slightly later than average start date for harvest.
This wine still offers incredible aromas of dried red cherry with hints of sweet tobacco. It reminds me of a berry chutney that is both sweet and savory at the same time. On the palate, the wine is silky and full with nice juiciness. There are flavors of cherry and earth with an impression of sweetness on the soft melting finish. This wine is definitely aging gracefully!
For more about the 2000 vintage, see our previous post.
The Far Niente Wine Library, which contains every vintage the winery has produced.
19 2013on June
at 2:29 pm
This is a very simple dessert–just remember to assemble when everything is fresh and warm. This dessert goes great with all kinds of seasonal fruit: in springtime, source ripe strawberries and raspberries; in summer, look for beautiful stone fruit such as peaches or cherries; and in the fall, consider poaching apples or pears. This dish pairs well with Dolce because of the soft textures that come from the pudding and the fruit-forward nature of Dolce.
Brioche Bread Pudding with Berries and Whipped Cream
1 loaf brioche, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart half-and-half
½ vanilla bean
10 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 220˚F and place the brioche cubes in an 8” X 10” baking pan.
Heat the half-and-half in a heavy-bottomed, medium sauce pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the half-and-half and add the bean pod. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, but not to a boil.
In a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until combined. Once the half-and-half has simmered, slowly temper into the egg mixture—whisking the egg mixture while adding the hot liquid a little at a time. This process helps infuse flavors without cooking the egg. Discard the vanilla bean pod. Pour hot pudding base over the brioche and cover with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap into the mixture to help the brioche absorb the liquid, then cover the plastic wrap with a sheet of foil.
Place an empty jelly roll pan on the center rack of the oven and place the pan of brioche bread pudding on the cookie sheet. Fill the cookie sheet with warm water, forming a water bath around the pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 220˚F. When you check the pudding, the liquid should still be loose and will provide a delicious sauce for the pudding
Serve immediately, or set aside and re-warm when ready to serve with fruit, whipped cream and a glass of Dolce.
The 2000 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the Cave Collection vintages we’ve released an allocation of this year. Maybe you have a special occasion coming up or need to restock your cellar—this year’s release of select Cave Collection Cabernets is the perfect opportunity to acquire a rare wine!
2000 was marked by a moderate growing season, mild summer and a normal crop size—a blessing after 1999’s smaller than usual harvest. Stay tuned for notes from Winemaker Nicole Marchesi on the blend and how the wine is currently presenting.
Of note: if you have this vintage in your cellar, you’re lucky! We are down to the last few bottles in this year’s allocation.
From Noble Rot to Liquid Gold – the key to Dolce’s sweetness begins in the vineyard. Our late-harvest wine comes from a delicate blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in Coombsville and Oak Knoll. Inspired by the French Sauternes-style, the Dolce vineyard is gently tended to grow healthy and ripe fruit that will hang longer into the season, with hopes of growing Botrytis. The beneficial mold desiccates the clusters, concentrating sugars and flavors to produce our very special dessert wine.
Our Semillon grapes are grown in Coombsville, at the base of the Vaca Mountains. The crescent-shaped embrace of these mountains protects the vines from wind, allowing the morning mist to linger into midday – a necessity to any vineyard attempting to develop Noble Rot. Large canopies are also grown to cover the fruiting zone, trapping humidity and creating the right conditions for Noble Rot to prosper. To grow these unique grapes for Dolce wine, healthy vines and healthy soils will not suffice; the vineyard requires meticulous care and the cool touch of Mother Nature to take mere grapes and turn them into delightful nectar.
4 2013on June
at 11:14 am
I recently had the amazing opportunity to visit the Tuscan wine region in Italy with fellow members of the Oakville Winegrowers Association. The purpose of this technical exchange trip was to learn more about grapegrowing and winemaking in Tuscany as well as to foster new collegial relationships. (It also served the purpose of adding a few inches to our waistlines!)
The group’s first stop on our Tuscany tour was the coastal region of Bolgheri. This wine region is relatively young and small for Europe; the majority of the major wineries here were only started in the 1980s and there are just 50-60 of them. And, unlike the rest of Tuscany where Sangiovese is the predominant red grape, Bolgheri wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. We were overwhelmed by the hospitality from this relatively small band of Italian vintners. Not only did they open the doors to their modern facilities but they also provided us with in-depth tastings and discussions of their wines. I found the wines to be rich with black cherry and layers of minerality and supple on the palate with juicy acidity and fine-grained tannins. They paired nicely with our daily supply of cured meats, wild boar and fresh pasta!
A beautiful vineyard view at Tenuta Argentiera in Bolgheri.
After two impressive days in Bolgheri we travelled inland to the hilltop town of Montalcino, known for its Sangiovese-based Brunellos. In contrast to the young region of Bolgheri, Montalcino is steeped in tradition. There are strict rules that must be abided by both in the vineyard (crop yield is closely regulated) and in the winery (minimum barrel and bottle aging) in order for a wine to be called a Brunello. Here, too, we experienced generosity that included vineyard visits, in-depth winery tours, extensive tastings and bountiful food. The wines offered aromas of sweet cherry, tobacco and spice. Some of these wines had an almost oily texture with structure coming from a balance of acid and tannin that went well with fresh fava beans and roasted suckling pig.
Tasting Brunello at Col d'Orcia
In both Bolgheri and Montalcino, I was struck by the interest in equipment innovation, the willingness to share expertise and research and the dedication to making wines specific to their region. I’ve come away from this trip with a greater appreciation for the world of wine, new friends and the need for a slightly bigger belt!
A behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.
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