One of the most fascinating, and equally confounding, facts about wine is that it is alive. Indeed, wine is a living thing, that in its simplest form is a beverage made from the juice of grapes full of natural grape sugars that can, by action of yeast, be fermented into alcohol. Perhaps wine’s most distinguishing marks, the thing that sets it apart from other beverages and agricultural produce, is its ability to transform and in some cases, improve with time.
Not all wine is meant to be aged, but many Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons can be enjoyed a few years or decades down the road. Frank Family’s Winston Hill Cabernet-based Boudreaux-style blend is one such wine, whose lovely balancing act between tannins, acids, and sugars lend to its beautiful capacity to age well. This wine, while approachable and delicious upon release, is known to blossom over time and offer increasingly complex and intriguing layers of flavors and smooth, integrated tannins that speak to the distinctness of our Winston Hill Vineyard and the particular vintage at hand.
It may seem obvious, but one can’t expect to find a cellar-worthy wine, like Winston Hill, unless it derived from a good vineyard with the terrior to give it the building blocks it needs to evolve gracefully. Over the past 30 years, we have taken the time to discover the special characteristics of Winston Hill and to learn how to employ thoughtful winemaking techniques to coax these defining features from our wines. Our exceptional land, which sits 500 feet above the Napa Valley floor in Rutherford, provides structure, depth, complexity, and concentration, all hallmarks of a long-lived wine. “I believe that a wine cannot improve with age without first having a balance between structure and freshness,” says Frank Family Winemaker Todd Graff. “I’d say we’ve mastered the longevity track with Winston Hill, which annually gives us high quality, balanced fruit that continues to show off in the bottle 5, 10, even 15 years later.”
Frank Family reserves several cases of Winston Hill each vintage with the intention to be released 10 years after its initial debut. This year, we are excited to open our wine library to offer the stunning 2013 Winston Hill. Robert M. Parker tasted this wine in 2015, awarding it 96 points and noting, “this is a beauty, and a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 25-30 years” – a compelling argument that it certainly pays off to lay down a promising bottle of wine from a trusted vineyard like Frank Family’s Winston Hill.