2018 Far Niente Chardonnay Estate 1.50L
2018 Far Niente Chardonnay Estate 1.50L Our Napa Valley Chardonnay is a blend of superlative vineyards, many of which are located in Coombsville, a cool growing region nestled in the rolling countryside and protected by the hills east of the city of Napa. We’ve been growing Chardonnay in this area for over 30 years and our first release was the 1979 vintage. Coombsville offers the characteristic climate of Carneros, with less wind, and deeper, well-drained gravelly loam and volcanic ash soils. The combination of these spectacular vineyards results in the subtle, tropical flavors and complex aromas that we have long associated with Far Niente Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America. Describing the flavors of Chardonnay is not easy. While many Chardonnay wines have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety’s intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavors.
Because of this high level of winemaker involvement, Chardonnay has become known as the “”winemaker’s wine””. The variety itself (although often said to be relatively flavor-neutral) is responsible for most of the fruity flavors found in Chardonnay wines. These range from the tropical (banana, melon, pineapple and guava) to stonefruits (peach, nectarine and apricot), citrus and apples. Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavors a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California, Chile and much of Australia tend to give more tropical styles. Temperate zones such as southern Burgundy or northern New Zealand create wines marked out by stonefruit notes. The very coolest Chardonnay vineyards (those in Chablis, Champagne and Germany) lean towards green-apple aromas.