Far Niente Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
Far Niente Chardonnay 2009 Front Label

Far Niente Chardonnay 2009

  • WS92
750ML / 14.3% ABV
Other Vintages
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750ML / 14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Far Niente Chardonnay offers aromas of Meyer lemon, honeysuckle and melon layered with toasted hazelnut and nutmeg. The entry is oily, long and silky with clean, bright acidity and fresh, tropical fruit flavors supported by sweet toasted oak.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
The best Far Niente Chardonnay in some time. This delivers very complex aromas and flavors, with subtle tiers of ripe pear, honeydew melon, fig and apricot, as well as hints of toasty, vanillascented oak. Drink now through 2018.
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Far Niente

Far Niente

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Far Niente, California
Far Niente Far Niente Estate Winery Image

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.

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

MRE107557_2009 Item# 107557

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