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Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
  • W&S93
  • WE93
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Winemaker Notes

This wine offers intense aromas of blackberry and boysenberry along with licorice and perfume. A juicy and silky entry is followed by a velvety midpalate, rich with layers of ripe purple fruit and cassis. Well-integrated and melting tannins lead to a long and juicy finish.

Critical Acclaim

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

The finest Cabernet Sauvignon I have ever tasted from Far Niente may be the 2007 Estate. Its dense purple color is accompanied by fragrant aromatics of creme de cassis, spice box, underbrush, and forest floor. Voluptuously-textured and full-bodied with superb purity and depth as well as a layered, complete finish, this terrific wine should be drinkable before the 2006, but age just as long 20-25+ years.

W&S 93
Wine & Spirits

The long, cool 2007 growing produced exceptional cabernet fruit at Far Niente's Martin Stelling Vineyard, a 100-acre site rising up into the Mayacamas hills above Oakville. It has the freshness and brightness of the best 2007s, and seems to do everything right, like the star quarterback in high school who happend to be handsome and gets straight A's. No, it's not complex, but it may get there in time. For now, it's all red plum flavor, spicy, lively and sleek. The balance makes it approachable with roast rack of lamb, and will hold it for long-term aging.

WE 93
Wine Enthusiast

This is one of the most tannic Cabs Far Niente has produced in quite a while. It’s really not drinkable now, despite very complex flavors of blackberries, cherries, licorice, tobacco and plums, along with plenty of smoky new oak. Made with a few drops of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, which add perfume and flowers, it’s a wine that won’t come into its own for quite a while. Hold until 2013, at least, and it should provide interesting drinking for years after, in a proper cellar.

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Far Niente

Far Niente

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Far Niente, , California
Far Niente
One of California's oldest wineries, Far Niente was founded in 1885 by world traveler and entrepreneur, John Benson. The winery flourished until Prohibition, at which time it was abandoned and fell into complete disrepair. The stately stone shell of a winery was purchased in 1979 by Gil Nickel, as part of his quest to create a world class wine estate in the Napa Valley. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, romantically translated to "without a care," was found carved in stone on the front of the building, where it remains to this day.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance...

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines...

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

MRE104070_2007 Item# 104070

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