Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
The grapes for this Cabernet Sauvignon were gently destemmed, but not crushed, leaving a significant portion of whole berries for fermentation. A full eight to ten days of contact between the grapes and the skins allowed us to extract intense color and flavor before fermentation. After primary fermentation, the wine completed malolactic fermentation to soften the acid structure and add complexity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Blackcurrant, earth and graphite aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with a solid core of fruit and a flavorful finish. Some iodine. Solid value here. Drink now or hold.
Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve has been a part of the fabric of Sonoma County for over a century. After coming to California from his native Switzerland, founder Andrew Frei first established vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley in 1890. His two sons, Walter and Louis, eventually took over and adopted the name Frei Brothers. They successfully ran the winery for over 70 years.
The beautiful Frei Brothers vineyards caught the eye of Julio Gallo soon after the repeal of Prohibition. He began using the site as a vineyard source for the rapidly growing E. & J. Gallo Winery. Once Walter and Louis had both retired in the late 1970s, the Gallo family purchased Frei Ranch. They have since further developed the vineyard to become what it is today.
Their long history in Sonoma County has allowed us to form long-lasting connections with their growers — some relationships dating back as much as 70 years. Among these partners are some of Sonoma County’s oldest winegrowing families, farmers who have been cultivating their vineyards and perfecting their techniques over generations. Led by their passionate winegrower, Scott Johnsen, we work hand in hand with their vineyard managers and growers to select the best sites for each of their varieties. The result is exceptional fruit grown in its ideal place, which allows their winemakers to craft complex wines with immense clarity of flavor.
When Scott joined Frei Brothers 14 years ago, he found himself at home among the vineyards on the historic, 125-year-old Frei Ranch. “I love that at Frei Brothers, we get to carry on the legacy of stewardship of the environment and quality of product that many generations have created,” said Scott. Scott also found himself at home in Sonoma County, a place that fully embodies all the best qualities he’s grown to love about California.
Not only is Sonoma County beautiful, it also offers ideal conditions for growing their vines. We craft their award winning wines by working closely with vineyard managers and growers to carefully select the ideal sites for each grape variety. This allows us to source only the fruit that is best suited to its region. Their winemakers can then showcase the true varietal character of each grape, bringing the Heart of Sonoma County to each glass.
Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.