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Frank Family Vineyards Winston Hill Proprietary Red 2012

Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
  • JS93
  • WE92
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is made from a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by smaller percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the lot aged almost two years in 75% new French oak. It presents itself as a classic example of the vintage and the valley, robustly bold and approachable in sage and red berry with a sturdy, sizable structure.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Winston Hill Proprietary Red Blend, which is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot, is a pretty serious hombre. Dense ruby/purple in color with notes of créme de cassis, graphite and concentrated black cherries, the wine has good acidity, sweet tannin and a full-bodied mouthfeel. The purity and overall personality and character of the wine are impressive. It is a very youthful, relatively unevolved wine with tremendous upside. Give it another several years of bottle-age and drink it over the following 15-20 years. Rating: 94+
JS 93
James Suckling
A red with tension and backbone plus black currant and spice character. Full body, tight tannins and finesse. Mineral too. Best wine from Frank Family Vineyards. Drink now.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is made from a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by smaller percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the lot aged almost two years in 75% new French oak. It presents itself as a classic example of the vintage and the valley, robustly bold and approachable in sage and red berry with a sturdy, sizable structure.
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Frank Family Vineyards

Frank Family Vineyards

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Frank Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
Image of winery

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.

Owner Richard Frank focuses his 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 Brown Vineyards in the 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 retailers. 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 ambience. 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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

WDW10240100402412_2012 Item# 169778