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While a bottle of wine can be enjoyed in so many ways (I do love a glass of wine, a good book and some mellow music), my favorite way is to share it with friends. My husband and I recently opened a bottle of the 1998 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon with some friends at dinner and were rewarded with not only a beautiful bottle of wine but also with the thoughtful conversation about it.
We had fun looking back on the vintage and discussing what challenges that it presented to winemakers. 1998 remained cool through the first half of the year and then dramatically shifted to hot weather. What did this mean for winemaking? This meant stringent selection of clusters in the vineyard, careful sorting in the winery and blending only the best lots together. The result is a carefully crafted blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot.
As the wine opened with our meal it offered aromas of dried blueberries, perfume, anise, nutmeg and light tobacco leaf. The silky-smooth entry developed into flavors of dried fruit with a long and lingering finish—a perfect complement to a delightful dinner with friends!
We have released an allocation of 1998 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet for your enjoyment. If you would like to replenish your cellar, you may do so online or call us at (707) 944-2861.
If you’ve been reading our posts about the Far Niente Cave Collection–our library of Napa Cabernet–you’ll notice that we’ve skipped a vintage. Our last post was about the 1996, and this month we’re writing about the 1998. This speaks perfectly to the nature of the Cave Collection. Although we release a small allocation of vintages from the Cave every January, certain vintages regularly sell out before the next Cave release, and some sell out altogether. The 1997 vintage is of the latter. Not to worry, though, as the 1998 is a beautiful, aged Cabernet still available for you to enjoy.
We are blessed in this valley to experience fairly consistent growing conditions from one year to the next, which are particularly suitable to wine grapes. Some years, though, are more challenging than others, and as often happens, the vintage’s reputation across the valley seems to be made on the weather more than on the quality and potential of the wine. The 1998 growing season experienced a long, cool spring, followed by an almost immediate turn into hot, summer temperatures. While the vines had less time to develop than usual, the weather came into balance and the grapes benefitted from the warmth of the season, coming to full ripeness before harvest. Fifteen years later, collectors who have 1998 Napa Cabs in their cellars know that the vintage has produced a gorgeous wine.
Keep an eye on this blog to hear Winemaker Nicole Marchesi’s impressions of the 1998 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon.
To replenish your cellar, you may order online or give us a call at (707) 944-2861.
A behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.
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