It’s a typical false impression that white white doesn’t age in the identical approach as cabernets. One wine persevering with to show that concept mistaken is Far Niente Winery’s iconic chardonnay. This notable Napa Valley vineyard is celebrating the fortieth classic of its iconic Far Niente Chardonnay.
Far Niente produced this inaugural Chardonnay from the 1979 classic, sixty years after prohibition compelled the unique stone vineyard in Oakville to close. Because the vineyard’s first wine within the fashionable period, it set the benchmark for prime notch chardonnay shortly after the well-known Judgement of Paris tasting. The 2019 classic embodies Far Niente’s mission of making a singular expression of estate-driven and cellar worthy Napa Valley Chardonnay.
“The objective from the very starting was to provide one of many world’s nice Chardonnays, a wine that’s each timeless and gratifying to drink,” explains Proprietress Beth Nickel. “Our imaginative and prescient was to maintain enhancing the Chardonnay every classic, crafting a harmonious model of wine that had all of it, whereas remaining true to our core values and principals. This yr we launched the 2019 classic of our Chardonnay celebrating 40 years of outstanding winemaking.”
On the helm of this iconic property is winemaker Nicole Marchesi. She is barely the fourth winemaker in Far Niente’s lengthy historical past, having joined the vineyard in 2005 as an enologist. We chatted with winemaker Nicole Marchesi and Proprietress Beth Nickel to speak extra concerning the vineyard and its well-known chardonnay.
What are the distinguishing traits of Far Niente Chardonnay?
Nicole: At Far Niente we give attention to a single Chardonnay from distinctive Napa Valley vineyards. Each classic we craft a mix that displays our “home model” – one which seamlessly balances grace, class, depth and size. Each classic needs to be distinctive but in addition distinctly Far Niente. Aromas usually embody citrus, honeydew melon, white floral and light-weight touches of toasted oak.
On the palate, our Chardonnay has richness and depth with nice viscosity that builds on the palate; a pleasant clip of acidity on the again finish brings It again along with a refreshing end. Placing that stability between wealthy and refreshing is a hallmark of Far Niente and likewise outcomes In a Napa Valley Chardonnay that’s not solely scrumptious upon launch however has the power to age for years within the bottle.
What do you attribute this luxurious chardonnay’s endurance to?
Nicole: We take the most effective that the vineyards supply us every classic to realize the gorgeous construction and distinctive model that defines our Napa Valley Chardonnay. All of it begins within the winery; rising a wide range of clones within the cooler AVAs like Coombsville and Carneros units us up with glorious uncooked materials.
Within the cellar, we make use of myriad strategies similar to hand sorting clusters, barrel fermenting In French oak, batonnage stirring and blocking malolactic fermentation to craft our wine. These elements together with our constant pursuit of excellence has enabled us to craft an ageable Chardonnay that’s each wealthy, refreshing and nuanced.
Has the wine or wine-making strategies developed in any respect via the vintages?
Nicole: We’re extremely lucky to have such an skilled and educated crew working at Far Niente. Not solely is there a consistency of winery sourcing and strategies but in addition a consistency of individuals, which is admittedly vital for a permanent model. On the similar time, there’s additionally a tradition of curiosity on the vineyard that enables for adjustments.
We’re continuously trialing new strategies and at all times asking ourselves “how can we do issues higher?” In July, we acquired a 133-acre winery within the Carneros AVA of the Napa Valley, a lot of which is planted to Chardonnay. Our winery and vineyard groups are each excited for this chance to enhance on our skill to provide wines with the depth, class and complexity that we’re identified for.
Discuss just a little bit concerning the historical past of this Chard and why you suppose individuals find it irresistible a lot. Why has it develop into so iconic?
Beth: My husband, Gil, and I made a decision to maneuver to California within the late Nineteen Seventies with the dream of creating a world class wine property. Whereas looking for a property we stumbled upon an deserted stone vineyard in Oakville with the identify Far Niente carved in stone on the entrance of the constructing. We produced our first Chardonnay in 1979, and harvested our first grapes from the Oakville property in 1982.
For the reason that very first classic we now have strived to make the best high quality Chardonnay attainable, producing a wine with basic proportions of construction, class, texture and size. Far Niente’s Chardonnay is well known by critics and collectors as one of many most constantly glorious wines every classic, and a benchmark for Napa Valley Chardonnay.
What are the most effective issues to eat with the wine?
Nicole: The 2019 Chardonnay is wealthy, refreshing and nuanced making it a wonderful wine to pair with a wide range of totally different meals and recipes. The Chardonnay’s creamy texture and citrus notes are a success with rosemary and garlic roasted hen or a decadent Dungeness crab and avocado roll, and it’s a match made in heaven with pan-seared lemon butter Halibut with purple potatoes and charred spring onions.