2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
90 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Gold Medal - Pacific Rim Wine - April 2018
Gold Medal - Critics Challenge - May 2018
Gold Medal - Orange County Fair - June 2018
Gold Medal - International Women's - June 2018
Frank Family Vineyards was only founded in 1992, but it has become such a recognized name in Napa Valley Cabernet that it feels like it must be a lot older than that; perhaps this is because they use the original Larkmead Winery building, established in 1884. Whatever the reason, Frank Family has established a reputation, making their wines difficult to come by in any circumstances, let alone at a discount. For this reason, we suggest you don’t miss out on the chance to snag some of their flagship wine, their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, on this rare occasion that it is available at a discount.
The S&J Vineyard is made up of 206 acres of land located east of the Vaca Mountain range in Napa’s Capell Valley. Purchased in 2000, it is named for Darryl Frank’s children, Stella and Jeremy, and is planted to 58 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with 9 acres of Petite Sirah and 9 acres of Zinfandel. The soils are fertile, well-drained and clay loam-based, reminiscent of the Rutherford Bench.
The Benjamin Vineyard is located east of Conn Creek Road in the heart of the Rutherford AVA. Purchased by Rich Frank in 2012, the 87-acre parcel was formerly known as Wood Ranch was renamed for Paul Frank’s son, and is planted with 50 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 acres of Petit Verdot, and 2 acres each of Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The vineyard is composed of gravelly loam soil as a result of sediment from the Conn Creek and Napa River which flowed through the region thousands of years ago.
Additional vineyard sources: Round Pond Estate in Rutherford; Delouise, Gaskins, and Shooting Star Vineyards located in Napa Valley.
The 2015 Frank Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon appears rich, opaque ruby in the glass, with matching rich aromas of crème de cassis, fresh espresso, vanilla bean, and ripe blackberry. Toasty, spicy notes of cedar come through as well. The palate offers flavors of blackberry, raspberry, black cherry, and cocoa powder, and has a soft yet firm structure that beg for grilled meats. The finish is long and expressive, with spiced fruit flavors lingering endlessly. Will drink well for 10-15 years.
Winemaker: Todd Graff
Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc.
Appellation: Napa Valley
Harvest Date: September 20th to October 22nd, 2015
Aging: 20 months in 33% new and 67% once and twice-filled French oak barrels.
TA: 0.66 g/100ml
Alcohol %: 14.5%
About Frank Family
Take a trip back in time at the Frank Family Vineyards. First constructed as the Larkmead Winery in 1884, the building was refinished with native sandstone from the nearby hills in 1906 and still stands tall today. The massive stone edifice is considered an archetype of California’s wine country; it appears on the National Register of Historical Places and is listed as a Point of Historical Interest in the state of California. Owners Richard Frank and Connie Frank focus their energies on making superb still wines. The winery produces Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and several distinctly different Cabernet Sauvignons. The highly regarded Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is barrel aged for two and one-half years, is emerging as one of the most sought after wines in the valley and their Napa Carneros Vineyards produce some of the finest Chardonnay available. The Sangiovese, a rising star, is created entirely from grapes grown on Rich’s property and the Zinfandel comes from the Pope & Chiles Valley. Once owned by wine legend Hans Kornell, the winery originally secured its reputation with sparkling wines. Five sparkling wines are handcrafted today in the old building: Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, occasionally the Rouge and Reserve. All of these are made in the traditional French methode champenoise style.
Frank Family Vineyards wines are produced in small quantities and currently sold only at the winery and a handful of select restaurants and wine shops. A visit to the winery is not complete without a story-filled tour or at least a walk through the historic building where the thick, stone walls, high-stacked barrels and rich bouquet of aging wines create the utmost in winery ambiance. The winery provides separate tasting areas for sparkling wines and still wines. Just outside, to the south of the building, visitors are welcome to sit under the giant oak trees, relax at the wooden picnic tables and enjoy spectacular vineyard views.
Learn more at www.frankfamilyvineyards.com.