2004 Napa Valley Cabernet

by Far Niente

Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Harvest Dates

September 15 –
October 6, 2004

Varietals

  • 86% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 6% Petit Verdot
  • 4% Cabernet Franc
  • 4% Merlot

Skin Contact

9–24 days

Aging

17 months in French oak

  • 61% new
  • 39% once-used

Release Date

April 2007

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Winemaker

Stephanie Putnam

Vineyard Notes

The 100-acre Martin Stelling Vineyard, located behind the winery in Oakville, is the cornerstone of the Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon program. The vineyard is composed of two distinct areas. The flat acreage uniformly produces wines with supple, sweet tannins and bright, forward fruit. Halter Valley, which is the extension of the vineyard that starts into foothills of the Mayacamas, is composed of gently rolling knolls. This section of the vineyard includes more diverse individual blocks that provide wines of great tannin and structure.

Harvest Notes

We experienced a cool summer in 2004, with temperatures running as much as five-to-ten degrees below normal. The weather during veraison was very cool, which extended the length of veraison and led to some uneven ripening within the clusters. Napa Valley experienced a prolonged heat wave in September, producing high sugars in the berries, but without physical ripeness. Wineries were forced to decide whether to bring in their grapes and risk making wines with green characters, or wait and hope for further ripening. We made the difficult decision to wait. A full three weeks after the end of the heat wave, sugars dropped and stabilized, grape ripeness was fully developed and we brought in the remaining harvest.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of very dark fruit, black currant, dark chocolate, dust/earth, vanillan and perfume are layered behind the ripeness. The wine provides a big and full entry, yet the tannins are balanced and have an underlying silkiness. On the palate, ripe cassis and spice mingle with well-integrated oak and evolve into a lingering, fruit-driven finish.

Featured Recipe

Featured Recipe

Grilled Flank Steak, Turnip Gratin, Wilted Rainbow Chard and Black Trumpet Mushrooms

By Far Niente Executive Chef Trevor Eliason

View Recipe

2004 Napa Valley Cabernet by Far Niente