Far Niente

Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. Benson hired architect Hamden McIntyre, creator of the former Christian Brothers winery--now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone--to design the building. Constructed against a hillside in western Oakville, Far Niente functioned as a gravity flow winery, gently moving the grapes through each stage of production.

Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Sixty years later, in 1979, Gil Nickel purchased the winery and adjacent vineyard and began a three-year restoration of the property, which resulted in placement on the National Register of Historical Places. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, from an Italian phrase that romantically translated means "without a care," was found carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day. We felt an obligation to preserve the name with the hope that we could recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care.

Nineteen eighty-two marked the return of winemaking to Far Niente, with the harvest of the winery's first Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay was also produced at the winery for the first time that year; the 1979, '80 and '81 vintage wines were made at an offsite location. Today, the winery continues to focus on producing only the two varietal wines.

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Far Niente Chardonnay 2017
Wilfred Wong 93  "COMMENTARY: Do I remember the 1979 Far Niente Chardonnay? I bought three cases, and it was one of the most dramatic wines I had ever sold as a retailer. When I approached the 2017 vintage, my palate was recalling the passages of time. Though my notes are buried somewhere among
Item Number: 30615
Bottle:$57.95
Case: $695.40
BTL

Far Niente 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
"Beautiful aromas of blackberry and boysenberry pie, cassis, licorice and sweet anise, pair gorgeously with hints of lightly toasted oak. A silky entry transitions to a very smooth midpalate with flavors of mixed berry fruit, light toasted oak, and sweet licorice. Well-structured and polished, this

Far Niente Chardonnay 2016
Wilfred Wong 94 "A historically top-notch Chardonnay, the beautifully crafted 2016 Far Niente comes to the fore with superb ripe fruit and balance. The wine's combination of dried peach skin, bright minerality, and wood accents would pair it handsomely with lobster in a lightly savory cream sauce.

Far Niente 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
" The 2015 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon has deep concentrated aromas of chocolate-covered cherries alongside bright floral notes. The entry of this wine is juicy with a silky-smooth texture that builds through the mid-palate. Mouthwatering dark cherry flavors are supported with well-integrated oak.

Far Niente Chardonnay 2015
" The 2015 Far Niente Chardonnay presents fresh and bright aromatics of tropical fruit, melon and hints of fig. This vintage is beautifully balanced by lightly toasted oak. A silky entry develops into a smooth and rich midpalate. Deep flavors of toasted nuts support the bursting flavor of melon and

Far Niente Chardonnay 2014
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The 2014 Far Niente Chardonnay opens with light tropical aromas alongside melon, juicy citrus and a layer of toasted oak and mineral. The silky entry introduces bright melon and citrus notes complementary to the nose, then progresses to a creamy, structured midpalate. The long, mouthwatering finish

Far Niente Chardonnay 2013
"Aromas of Meyer lemon, toasted nuts and fig are supported by the underlying sweetness of honeysuckle. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light melon and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full midpalate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish."~ Winery Notes

Far Niente Chardonnay 2012
"Aromas of Meyer lemon, toasted nuts and fig are supported by the underlying sweetness of honeysuckle. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light melon and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full midpalate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish."~ Winery Notes

Far Niente 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
" The 2010 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon opens with boysenberry aromas combined with rich, toasted oak and a hint of espresso. The entry is layered and juicy with a velvety midpalate. Round, coating tannins and cherry fruit lead to a lingering and youthful finish. " ~ Winery notes

Far Niente Chardonnay 2011
"Aromas of Meyer lemon, toasted nuts and fig are supported by the underlying sweetness of honeysuckle. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light melon and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full midpalate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish."~ Winery Notes

Far Niente 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
" The 2009 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of boysenberry and blackberry pie, tobacco leaf, cassis and toasted oak. The entry is chewy, with black cherry fruit supported by warm, spiced oak. Thick and structured, the wine lingers on the palate with flavors of boysenberry, cherry and

Far Niente 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
"This wine offers intense aromas of ripe blackberry and boysenberry layered with baking spices and licorice. The entry is full and juicy with a velvety middle palate. Dark, mocha flavors emerge on the long finish with chewy, coating tannins. " ~ Winery Notes

Far Niente 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
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93  Robert Parker 
Robert Parker 93 "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


Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
95  Wine Enthusiast 
 Wine Enthusiast 95 One for the cellar. Shows a dramatic structure of firm, dusty tannins, brightened with acidity, framing complex, long and deep flavors of black currants, cassis, dark unsweetened chocolate, smoky cedar, anise and spices, undergirded by a firm minerality. Best after 2010 and

Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
94  Wine Enthusiast 
 Wine Enthusiast 94 "In the wine’s youth, the aroma of new oak dominates, with that smoky, minty, spicy-char note. But in the mouth the fruit explodes in intensely ripe black currants and milk chocolate. The tannins are rich and softly complex. A complete Cabernet that is luscious now, but has the


Far Niente Chardonnay 2010
"Aromas of Meyer lemon, toasted nuts and fig are supported by the underlying sweetness of honeysuckle. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light melon and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full midpalate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish."~ Winery Notes