Zinfandel is often called “California’s Grape,” and despite the fact that it has been genetically traced to Croatia, it certainly seems to show best all over the Golden State. Today’s offering comes from Frank Family in Napa Valley, a region certainly more well known for its Cabernet, but only because of the astounding prices some of its Cabs can fetch; Napa’s climate is also wonderful fro growing Zinfandel. Warm sunny days lead to well ripened Zinfandel grapes that tend to show more of Zin’s fruity side than the spicy, peppery side seen when grown in areas like Dry Creek Valley.
The 2007 Frank Family Zinfandel is ruby purple in color, with a bright nose of raspberry and blackberry, and hints of caramel and vanilla from judicious use of oak. The palate is complex and nicely layered with black cherry, blackberry, blueberry pie, and notes of smoked bacon fat. Great acidity leads to a beautifully balanced wine, while the rich flavors cascade over the palate and onto a long smooth finish. Zinfandel is sometimes hard to pair with food because it tends to be high in alcohol and low in acidity; Frank Family’s Zin certainly has its share of alcohol, but it is not over the top and is held in check with just the right amount of acid. The smokiness of this wine makes it a natural to pair with barbecue, but it would work equally well with any grilled meat. At under $30, this offers a hugely intense wine perfect for outdoor summer meals and an unbeatable price!
15 months maturation in 35% new French oak and 65% once and twice filled French oak barrels
Varietal Composition: 84% Zinfandel, 9% Cabernet, 7% Petite Sirah
Harvest Date: September 10th – October 11th 2007
Acid: 0.62 g/100ml TA
PH: 3.79 pH
Barrel Aging: 15 Months
Bottling Date: May 2009
Food Pairing: Grilled meats
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.