• Alexander Smith

I buy wine because the label looks cool, it must be good right?

99.9% of the time, this is not true and more effort should have been put on the wine instead of the marketing. However when you find an awesome label and the wine is also of high quality you cannot help to be stunned. This is the situation I found recently when I tasted through the Frias Family Vineyard and their 'Lady of the Dead 2017' a wine dedicated to the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday which is to remember those who have passed away.

Frias Family Vineyards is a boutique winery located in Napa with a difference. The Frias family are hispanic decedents and were one of the first Hispanic wineries located in Napa back in the 1980s. The winery was founded in 1977 by Manny and Maria Frias when they purchased 100 acres of land in the Spring Mountain District. Their first wine was produced in 1988 and their first commercial label was sold under the 1991 vintage. The winery is currently run by Fernando and Manny Jr. Frias who are very much hands on and take part of every side of the business from harvesting, tasting, private events and the distribution side.

The Frias Family produce wines which are rich, lush and true to their name. I always appreciate wineries which stay true to their style across the multiple wines they represent. I was lucky enough to recently taste through 3 of their wines: Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Lady of the Dead 2017 and the SMD 2016 (Spring Mountain District). Overall I was highly impressed by the quality of the wines and recommend those who are looking for a rich and lush style of Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc. Tasting notes and links on where to buy these wines can be found below:

Frias Family Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - 91 points

Super interesting, loads of tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, guava the palate was round and full with good acidity along with ripe mango, butter, lemon meringue, tropical pastry tart and a bright finish. This is more of your full Sauvignon and is craving for a creamy fish dish, poultry etc. This really shows the style of the house. 91+. Can be purchased directly from the winery

Frias Family Vineyard Lady of The Dead 2017 - 91 points

Most wines which are aimed at Halloween or Day of the Dead are boring and they spend more time on the label than the wine. This wine is different, this is a premium Napa Cabernet with notes of blackberry, black cherry, dark plum, cassis, dark chocolate, cedar and a little smoke. The palate was full-bodied, lush, rich with sweet black fruit, a little pepper and spice, well-integrated tannins and a full finish. Drinking wonderfully now. Blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Syrah. Can be purchased directly from the winery

Frias Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District 2016 - 93 points

This is big and lush, with aromas of blackcurrant, black cherries, blackberries, cracked black pepper, mint, bark and smoke, the palate was velvety, lush and rich with bold flavours of blackberry fruit, crushed stones, leaf, chocolate and vanilla, the tannins are well integrated and the finish is rich yet elegant. 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, aged for 21 months in French oak. Can be purchased directly from the winery


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