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Far Niente

By Michele


Not too long ago, I had an interesting lunch experience. My friend selected a restaurant by looking at their beautiful food photos online. What he didn’t see was the restaurant exterior entrance or interior design. No big deal. Right? That said, we ventured off to the destination and were taken aback by the front entrance. The windows were blacked out and had paper signs in them, so we thought we were in the wrong place. Upon opening the door, it certainly looked like a restaurant, as every table was full. We questioned the hostess to see if this was the place where we had reservations. It was!

The place was noisy and crowded. We waited just a short time for our table, which was located in the back of the restaurant. There were no tablecloths (a pet peeve of our friend) and our table was near the kitchen. What were we to do? We sat and looked over the menu. Our waiter arrived, introduced himself and asked if we would like drinks. "Yes," we thought, given that at this moment we didn’t know what we were in for!  When my friend asked if they had Chardonnay wine the waiter gave him two choices: Kim Crawford (my go to and favorite) or Far Niente (one of my friend’s favorite wines). Oh, we looked at one another and thought “Jeez good choices.” The Far Niente Chardonnay Vintage 2022 was selected. Hence, that began my introduction to a fabulous wine, which I’ll tell you more about in a moment.

We enjoyed the Chardonnay with paella. Since the paella had a complex and rich flavor, the floral, citrusy and light Chardonnay made a perfect match. Each delivered a delightful contrast of savory and sweet aromas and flavors.

At the end of the meal, I reminded myself not to judge a book (or restaurant) by its cover. The meal was delicious, and the wine was a heavenly accompaniment!

Once home, I became more curious about Far Niente Chardonnay, so I spent some time on the Internet looking it up. Here’s what I found on their website:

2022 Far Niente Chardonnay:

Our Estate Bottled Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from a blend of superb vineyards, many of which are located in Coombsville, a cool growing region nestled in the rolling hills east of Napa. We’ve been growing here for over 40 years, and the deeper, well-drained gravelly loam and volcanic ash soils enable a Chardonnay of subtle tropical fruit flavors and complex aromas. There's also an absence of malolactic fermentation which preserves the grape’s natural acidity, lending the wine vibrant fruit and brightness in youth and allowing it to age beautifully, developing a sophisticated palate profile over time.

Our 2022 Far Niente Chardonnay is richly aromatic with bright notes of citrus, melon, and pear. These same enchanting notes continue onto the palate with a silky entry that slowly builds to a long finish with lingering citrus. Crisp minerality and juicy acidity lift and support the generous fruit and provide the framework for graceful aging.

Far Niente comes from an Italian phrase that romantically translates to “without a care.”

The winery offers bottles of Dolce Far Niente that run anywhere from $100 to $1,100 a bottle. So, if you are “without a care,” go for it.  If not, gift yourself and purchase a bottle of Far Niente Chardonnay Vintage 2022. It is less pricey (in the mid 60-dollar range) but, oh so worth it! Cheers!


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