Founded in 1885 by John Benson, the Far Niente estate, whose name resonates with the Italian saying "Dolce Far Niente" meaning "the joy of doing nothing", significantly grew before being abandoned in 1919, at the beginning of the Prohibition. Untouched for sixty years, this Napa Valley estate was bought in 1979 by Gil and Beth Nickel who untertook extensive restoration work in order to bring the estate back to its former glory.
Inspired by the fine wine estates on the other side of the Atlantic, Gil Nickel produces only two grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. They recently celebrated their 40th vintage.
Through its history, its terroir and the quality of its wines, Far Niente is an iconic name in the Napa Valley and has played an active part in the international development of great Californian wines.
The estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the most exclusive places in the Napa Valley, particularly due to its cellars, which are the first underground wine caves to be built in North America.
Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2019 by the Far Niente estate is made from vineyards located within the Coombsville Viticultural Area. Located on the hills to the east of the city of Napa, these vineyards are unique in that they have a warm climate with dry summers and rest on a gravelly and volcanic silt subsoil that enables both deep rooting and excellent drainage. These weather conditions lead to the production of beautifully subtle wines, which blend complexity and rich aromas.
The winter was marked by heavy rainfall, followed by a milder spring. The light rainfall in May did not affect the fruit set. The good weather conditions during the summer months, combined with sufficient water reserves, enabled the vines to grow steadily and evenly until the harvest.
The vinification and aging
Fermentation is carried out 85% in barrels and 15% in tanks. The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels (45% of which are new, 55% are first fill barrels).
Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2019 by Far Niente Estate is a 100% Chardonnay.
The nose blends aromas of honeysuckle, white peach blossom and citrus zest with notes of vanilla.
Full and generous, the palate is seductive due to its silky feel and its aromatic palette where notes of stone fruits and lightly toasted oak blend together. A refreshing minerality and citrus notes enhance this elegant palate, leading to a persistent and aromatic finish.