2009 Napa Valley Cabernet

by Far Niente

Appellation

Oakville, Napa Valley

Harvest Dates

October 6–25, 2009

Varietals

  • 97% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2% Petit Verdot
  • 1% Cabernet Franc

Skin Contact

12 days, average

Aging

16 months in French oak

  • 79% new
  • 21% once-used

Release Date

February 2012

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

Winemaker

Nicole Marchesi

Vineyard Notes

The 100-acre Martin Stelling Vineyard, located behind the winery in Oakville, is the cornerstone of the Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon program. Planted on some of the most beautiful, gravelly loam soil in the Napa Valley, the vineyard is composed of two distinct areas. The lower portion uniformly produces wines with supple, sweet tannins and bright, forward fruit. Halter Valley, which is the extension of the vineyard that starts into the 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. This vineyard, together with a small contribution from the Sullenger Vineyard at Nickel & Nickel, produces Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon.

Harvest Notes

The 2009 season brought the third consecutive winter with drought conditions, but by March, rainfall had increased and approached normal. A mild spring coupled with a touch of late-season rain ensured strong, yet well-balanced, vine growth. A small heat spike in early July followed by temperate summer days allowed the vines to steadily ripen the fruit. September arrived with the warmest weather of the season, and we began picking the ripest blocks in early October before a forecasted storm. Rain fell in mid-October, washing off the grapes and accelerating harvest. Because Cabernet Sauvignon is particularly resilient it successfully weathered the storm and we brought in the remaining ripe fruit before the month’s end.

Tasting Notes

The 2009 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of boysenberry and blackberry pie, tobacco leaf, cassis and toasted oak. The wine is chewy on entry, with black cherry fruit supported by warm, spiced oak. Thick and structured, the wine lingers on the palate with flavors of boysenberry, cherry and spice. The wine’s big, firm tannins are hallmarks of great aging potential.

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2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon