Far Niente, one of the wine realm gems you’ll forever beckon for reflection. More scenery than I thought I was staked to take. Five steps, snap. Another movement cluster, several clicks. Have to appreciate my blogging buddy, Danica Sattui, for stringing my attention to scenes savory, for the pics I’d post on the blog. Couldn’t wait to taste the wines, but these frames, a more-than-adequate diversion, distraction. Immeasurable attraction; Intrinsic artistic. True, I was here the preceding day. But now, altogether modern. Tantalizingly unfamiliar. Me, dazed, already, within seconds of steps. Already, a disbelief about me. My eyes, all over the property. I was, already, truly “far niente,” without a care.
Zack, our very informative and kind host, started us downstairs with the tanks. He shared everything from the history, to how the wines were made, addressing Chard, Cab, and the Dolce. Then, the caves, where barrels rest. Mythic seclusion, just like the property itself. We explored the low-lit lair, stopping every minute or two for pictures, questions. Then, another chamber, housing library wines and a most fascinating fountain. It reminded me of some sculptures I saw in France. Highlight of this particular Room, for me: the bottle of 1979 Chardonnay. Zack even helped us take pictures in this charming little chamber.
The cars. Wow. Not sure where to write, what to write, how to write, about this portion. Beautiful machines, in a condition even Jay Leno would envy. So, not only is Mr. Zack versed in wines, vines, but automobiles as well, answering any question we, or newlywed new friends of Danica and I, Matt and Kristen from ATL, posed. Yes, it went through my head: “Sure we’ll taste the wines, but can we try the cars, too?” Asked Zack, he gently said, “No, sorry, Michael.” Took more pictures in this Room than on any part of the tour. If I remember correctly, Zack said that events were held in the car room, from time to time. Need be on the watch for one of those, definitely. Cars, Cabernet, more Far Niente...yes, thank you.
The wine. Another Chard, different from the one sipped at tour’s ignition, two Cabs, a 2000 and 2008, then the shyly sweet Dolce. Everything, 4.5 to 5 stars, for me. Yes, that’s the rating system I’m somewhat using, I suppose. The 2000 had a musical nose, conveying promises of cinnamon, spice, subtle earthy qualities, and raspberry. Oh, and the little cheese plate, scrumptious, pairing flawlessly with the wines. Zack did a great job speaking on how the wines and cheeses intermingled in profile, palate presence. The tasting was held in a quiet little Room on the main floor, just down the hall from the lobby (I guess that’s what you’d call it; Which is gorgeous!)
As a wine, Sonoma/Napa, tasting and tour experience, this is in the top 3 of all time for me. I’m still thinking about those Cabernet notes, the vibrantly immaculate grounds, the caves, Dolce...I have to stop. It’s more than I can write in this reflection. Their website shared some news of fun events for the summer. Glad the weather was what it was on the day of my visit, so I can fantasize about my mid-summer return, for that Soirée on July 30th. As I always do after a wine mission, I’m here in the chair cruising through photos. One the phone, on the Cannon. Everything, postcard-esque. Not because I’m such a master photographer. The grounds are like a collective spell, staying with the guest till they get home, and for days succeeding.