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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.
Like the beautiful flowers in full bloom outside, our production crew is in full “bloom” inside the winery. We are moving swiftly from one project to another, taking care of each wine in our cellar. Last week we finished bottling our 2011 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Bottling is every winemaker’s least favorite task, but it is incredibly important and takes all hands on deck!
In the next few weeks, we will continue with our 2012 Napa Chardonnay, stirring and topping while at the same time preparing to bottle the 2010 Dolce. I’m also starting my next round of blending trials with the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon in anticipation of racking directly after the Dolce bottling.
And you thought winemakers had nothing to do after harvest!
Winekmaker Nicole Marchesi recently tasted the 1996 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon and shares how the wine has evolved over the years.
The subtle blackberry, cassis and cedar aromas of this wine's youth have developed into a classic bottle bouquet of dried cherry and perfume. Soft and layered upon release, the texture has become even silkier with delicate tannis and mouthwatering acidity on the finish. Classically structured and ready to enjoy now!
Continuing our series on the 1996 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Winemaker Nicole Marchesi looks at the blend.
Revisiting 1996 is a glimpse back in time to a specific point in Far Niente’s history. This wine not only reflects the elegance of the vintage but gives us a chance to appreciate the evolution of our estate and winemaking styles. Our blend has changed since 1996—we tend to use less Cab Franc and Merlot nowadays—but we’ve always stayed true to our goals and house style. Being able to time travel through our Cave Collection helps to show me where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.
The 1996 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot.
To acquire the 1996 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, click here or call (707) 944-2861 for personal assistance.
Earlier, we shared a little about our Cave Collection, and today we are focusing one of those Cave Collection vintages, also poured on our current tours and tastings: the 1996 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon.
The decade of the 1990s brought forth a string of heralded Napa Cabernet vintages. Year after year, it seemed another “vintage of the decade” was named. But a few exemplary vintages were lost in the shadows of their predecessors, yet they still provided truly beautiful wines. 1991 comes to mind, coming on the heels of the 1990 vintage; 1996—the vintage we’re with which we’re kicking off the Cave Collection series –was sandwiched in between the great 1995 and 1997 bottlings. Age, however, introduces subtlety, nuance and bottle bouquet that’s not present in young wines, and it’s worth tasting what’s in your cellar now, to see if your favorites from the ‘90s have changed.
The 1996 vintage hails from a typical growing season, with moderate spring rainfall and even temperatures throughout the summer. This wine was picked in mid-September, which was more usual for the time, and was in concert with our farming and harvesting methods. The blend of Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Merlot points to the evolution of the Far Niente Cabernet blend. Today, we use no Merlot and just a fraction of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. While we always stay true to our house style—elegant wines of beautiful fruit, depth and silky tannins—we are always looking to improve our farming, harvesting and winemaking methods while responding to what Mother Nature provides each growing season.
Keep and eye on our blog for upcoming posts about the 1996 Cabernet, including updated tasting notes from Nicole. If you are in Napa Valley over the next few weeks, be sure to call ahead for an appointment. The 1996 Far Niente Cave Collection Cab is currently featured on our tours and tastings.
A behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.
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