Drink Dates: 2008-2012
In 2002, when I first tasted this wine from barrel I was extremely impressed with it. The fact that it was produced by one of Napa Valley?s most notorious underachievers only made the wine that much more surprising. In 2003, from barrel the wine was not quite as good as in 2002 (it had developed a funky overlay that was somewhat off putting) and I became concerned that the 2001 was going to revert back to Far Niente?s norm ? i.e. mediocre wine priced in the triple digits. From bottle, I realized that my concerns were unnecessary. The 2001 Far Niente is an extremely enjoyable Cabernet Sauvignon and certainly the best Cabernet they have ever produced (their first Cabernet was from the 1982 vintage) in my experience. Stephanie Putnam was installed as the winemaker at Far Niente in time for the 2001 vintage. She should receive credit along with Mother Nature for producing this wine. Medium black cherry red hued wine with a few thin moderately pigmented legs. A somewhat muted nose of cherry, chocolate, very slight funk, toast, oak, slight vanilla, and plum. Lots of sweet fruit coupled with toast and chocolate on the palate. Structurally, the wine has seemingly light tannins (the fruit is partially obscuring some of the tannins) and excellent acidity that keeps the wine refreshing. I would like to see more concentration especially in a wine priced in this range however there is no denying the wine disappears very quickly in the glass. A crowd pleasing Cabernet Sauvignon that can be drunk with pleasure now. Unapologetically Californian and all the better for it.