Frank Family Vineyards

Winston Hill Block 5 (Heart Block)
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford

2017 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 21 | Lot No. 59
Vintage

2015

Frank Family Vineyards

Winston Hill Block 5 (Heart Block)

Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford

5 cases produced

Highlights

  • This unique wine comes from the Heart Block of Rich and Leslie Frank's hillside estate in Rutherford
  • Rising 500 feet above the valley floor, the soil is made of well-drained volcanic deposits and sandstone
  • Extensive hand labor lessens the yields to produce a rich, concentrated wine of beautiful balance
  • Characteristic blueberry and chocolate flavors integrate over 24 months in 75% new French oak

This is our favorite block from one of the top hillside sites in Rutherford. The vines are now nearly 25 years old, and their grace is turning out wonderfully complex and rich fruit, consistent in its purity year in and year out.


Wine Facts

  • Single vineyard wine
  • Sustainably produced

Todd Graff

Winemaker, Frank Family Vineyards

Winemaker, Todd Graff

After twenty years of working as a winemaker in every corner of the world, winemaker Todd Graff landed at Calistoga's Frank Family Vineyards in 2003, just an hour drive over the mountains from his hometown of Petaluma. He has yet to look back, and is now also General Manager.

At Frank Family, Graff has applied his deep expertise in making both still and sparkling wines to the portfolio, and has been an integral player in defining Frank Family's reputation as a world-class producer of Napa Valley Cabernet and Chardonnay.

Graff was drawn to winemaking at a young age and signed up for an introductory wine course while attending Santa Rosa Junior College. He then graduated from UC Davis with a degree in plant science and viticulture in 1984.

Upon his graduation, Graff circled the globe working for great producers. He worked in the cellar at Joseph Phelps Vineyards before navigating the steep slate vineyards at Weingut Klaus Schweicher in Mosel, Germany, the sandy soils of Chateau Yon-Figeac in St.-Emilion, France, and the decomposed granite and sandstone loam soils at Arrowfield Estate in Australia's Hunter Valley.

He returned to the Napa Valley in 1987 to work as an assistant winemaker at Stags' Leap Winery, and from 1990-95 was the assistant winemaker and vineyard manager at Schramsberg Vineyards, where he honed his craft in making sparkling wines according to the methode champenoise. During his tenure at Schramsberg, he also served as technical drector and winemaker at Caves Transmontanas in Portugal, a Schramsberg joint venture.

In 1995, Graff joined Cordoniu in Napa (now Artesa) as sparkling winemaker, and in 2000, he joined Sonoma Creek Winery as winemaker, where he cultivated strategic relationships with grape growers and was a key component of the winery's executive management team. Under his leadership, Sonoma Creek's production increased by 30%.

Graff is a member of the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group and the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group. When he's not at the winery with his chocolate Labrador, Bristol, in tow, he enjoys spending time with his three children and coaches their Little League teams. He is also an avid mountain biker and fly-fisherman.

Country born: United States

Education: Graff was drawn to winemaking at a young age and signed up for an introductory wine course while attending Santa Rosa Junior College. He then graduated from UC Davis with a degree in plant science and viticulture in 1984.



Years in the wine industry: 30+ years

Winemaking Philosophy:
Make balanced wines that best express our vineyard sites.

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Premiere Napa Valley Wine Collection

Winery Vintage Variety Appellation Fanciful Auction
Corison Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Premiere Reserve 22
Stone The Crows 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 22
Ehlers Estate 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Block 4 21
Frank Family Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Winston Hill Block 5 (Heart Block) 21
von Strasser Winery 2015 Red Wine Diamond Mountain District Sori Bricco 21
Corison Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Premiere Reserve 20
LATERAL 2014 Cabernet Franc Los Carneros 20
Tierra Roja Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Katharine's Blend 19
Gallica 2012 Red Wine Oakville 18
Saintsbury 2012 Pinot Noir Los Carneros Brown Ranch 17
Saintsbury 2011 Pinot Noir Los Carneros Brown Ranch 16
Schrader Cellars, LLC 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Double Diamond Never Ever Cuvee 16
Pride Mountain Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley The Brother and Sister of (Volcanic) Rock 15
Shafer Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Sunspot Vineyard 14
Antica Napa Valley - Antinori Family Wine Estate 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Townsend Vineyard 13
Ceja Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir Los Carneros 12
J. Davies Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley McEachran Tierra Luna 12
Ceja Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir Los Carneros 11
Ladera Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 9
Cornerstone Cellars 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 7
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