Frank Family Pinot Noir: Showing off the Carneros AVA
When a winery’s Pinot Noir line is reliably good, vintage after vintage, you must take note. Normally, a roller-coaster ride is the deal for this finicky grape. Luscious one year and blah the next, too strong, then too wimpy, and the ride goes on. Such a situation makes it frustratingly difficult to settle on a particular Pinot brand without tasting first.
So when anyone experiences a “decent run”, say 10 or so years in a row of yummy Pinots, get out the notepads and write it down, then either join the wine club or place that standing order every year. That’s the drill, plain & simple.
Surprisingly, one of Napa’s producers that are not normally associated with consistently luscious Pinot Noirs is Frank Family Vineyards. Mostly renowned for their Cabernets, Zins, Chards, and sparklers, their Pinot is a hidden gem. In particular, it’s their Napa Valley Carneros Reserve Pinot Noirs that get most of the attention.
Released at certain times of the year, these Pinots are examples of the best of what Napa’s Carneros AVA has to offer. With bouquets of dried cherries and blueberries that runs into to aromas of mushrooms plus spice, these selections come on full force, then close ever so delicately on the mid-palate. They all boast finishes of totally balanced fruit with just enough acidity to say, “Pinot Noir is what I’m all about”.
There are awards and excellent ratings all around these, but somehow they still remain understated. Just keep “FFV” in mind and check their website from time to time for the releases (or get on their email list).
You will always be able to pull one of these wines out to pair with everything from salmon to veal, no problem at all. ‘Nuff said, they will offer them, sell them out, and continue to lure satisfied customers for many more years running.