92 Points - Wine Review Online.com March 13, 2012
91 Points - California Grapevine March 1, 2012
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast September 1, 2012
Platinum - San Diego International Wine Competition - 2012
Gold Medal - Monterey Wine Competition - 2012
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 2009 vintage in Napa was somewhat variable in quality, thanks to a fairly cool growing season, but it was exactly the type of year in which a producer like Frank Family, which owns vineyards spotted all over Napa, can shine. Where a producer with all of their vineyards in one location might suffer in a vintage like this, Frank Family’s ability to blend from lots across the valley enables them to deliver a beautiful wine that both reflects the vintage and what you would expect from Napa Cabernet. The result is a classic Napa Cabernet, and not to be missed.
The 2009 Frank Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is dark ruby in color, with a hint of purple. The nose leaps from the glass with aromas of blackberry, leather, briar, coffee, and black currant. This youthful wine is still a little tight on the palate, but a few minutes of air reveal rich, expansive black fruit flavors, accompanied by cherry and cocoa notes. Vibrant yet supple, firm tannin carry the dark fruit flavors across the palate, with wonderful presence on the finish. A smaller amount of Merlot and Petit Verdot are added to this blend, which results in added complexity and a beautifully integrated blend. This wine is drinking well now, but should show at its best over the next 5 years, with plenty of aging potential beyond that. Don’t miss out on this chance to stock the cellar with one of Napa’s finest Cabernets.
Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
Varietal Composition: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon 3 % Merlot 3 % Petit Verdot
Appellation: Napa Valley
Harvest Date: Oct 21th - Oct 30 th 2009
Acid: 0.63 g/100ml
Aging: 20 months in 30% new and 70% once and twice-filled French oak barrels
Bottling Date: July 2011
Alcohol %: 14.5%
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.