2003 Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley


Oakville, Napa Valley

Harvest Dates

September 20, 2003
October 11–29, 2003


  • 94% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5% Petit Verdot
  • 1% Cabernet Franc

Skin Contact

12–13 days
(64% pressed before dryness)


18 months in French oak

  • 73% new
  • 27% once-used

Release Date

April 2006

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson


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. These vineyards, together with small contributions from two other Oakville vineyards, combine to produce Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville.

Harvest Notes

The weather this year kept us on our toes; intermittent hot and cold spells were the theme of the season. Cooler temperatures in August and September contributed to a slightly later start to harvest than usual, but a nice heat spike the weekend of September 12th really kicked the vines into gear. Most of our grapes were picked in the later part of October, which required a lot of patience on our part, as we waited for the grapes to ripen. Fortunately, our patience was rewarded with a beautiful Indian summer the last two weeks of October.

Tasting Notes

Forward aromas of cassis, licorice, anise and tobacco, complemented by notes of black currant, are present on the nose. The plush, silky entry provides an opening to flavors of blackberry and black cherry fruit on the palate, with a dense core of chewy tannin. The fruit darkens on the palate, and notes of toasty oak with an underlying layer of black cherry emerge on the long, sweet finish.

Featured Recipe

Featured Recipe

Cajun Ribeye Steak

by Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Chicago, IL

View Recipe

2003 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon