2021 Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay
Far Niente in Oakville was originally founded in 1885 by California gold miner John Benson. It later closed in 1919 at the beginning of Prohibition. In 1979, Harold “Gil” Nickel purchased the historic property from Douglas Stelling. Gil Nickel was a former missile analyst and vintage race car diver who worked for his family’s wholesale nursery business before purchasing the property. He spent three years restoring the winery and extending the rock encased caves to age his wines.
The vineyards for this wine are located northwest of Napa in the Coombsville region. This wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation in order to preserve its natural acidity. It is aged 10 months sur lie in French Oak barrels, 52% new. I fell in love with the massive aromas of poached pear and baking spices! It is elegant with a touch of buttercream in the back. This Chardonnay remains extremely well-balanced and focused with lightly toasted oak, good acidity and almond overtones. There is some chalky minerality that adds to the complexity as it leads to a long, bright finish. It is a serious Chardonnay with great age-ability!
By Joe Dimmagio