2008 Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley


Oakville, Napa Valley

Harvest Dates

October 3–25, 2008


  • 90% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 6% Petit Verdot
  • 4% Cabernet Franc

Skin Contact

29 days, average


16–17 months in French oak

  • 70% new
  • 30% once-used

Release Date

February 2011

Director of Winemaking

Dirk Hampson

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 2008 season started out with low winter rainfall, followed by a very dry and cold spring. Napa Valley’s worst frost in 30 years resulted in reduced yields and delayed ripening in the coldest pockets of our vineyards. However, our precision farming enabled us to identify and isolate these sections. Summer and early fall brought a few heat spikes, but it was a relatively mild ripening season for Cabernet; its development was slow and steady, ensuring ideally evolved flavors and tannins. A cool and fairly dry October allowed us to pick each block slowly, sometimes with multiple passes, to harvest at optimum ripeness. The frost-affected sections were picked separately and declassified; only wines of optimal ripeness and beautifully textured tannins were included in our blend.

Tasting Notes

This 2008 cabernet offers intense aromas of ripe blackberry and boysenberry layered with baking spices and licorice. The entry is full and juicy with a velvety middle palate. Dark, mocha flavors emerge on the long finish with chewy, coating tannins.

Featured Recipe

Featured Recipe

Braised Beef Short Rib

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2008 Napa Valley Cabernet by Far Niente