_1986 - 2015 Toasting 29 Years *clink*
Signup for the Weekly Newsletter

Social Network Bar Franks Saber Visit Frank on Facebook Linkedin













Frank, Jason Mantis of Bacchus, Chris Laveglia of Brassfield and Pat

If you want to be entertained free of charge Take a Drive over to North Union Street on any Tuesday and pop in on our weekly 2pm blind tasting.

Don't expect a quite and sterile setting with glasses lined up on a white table with us seated in classroom fashion. Here at FranksWine we're all about multi-tasking... in between customers, phone calls, and deliveries you'll find in-house somm Patrick Travis, long-time staffer Michael Marsh, myself and any other of our brave crew (Siobhan Gannon and Lori Amada have been known to join in on occasion) in our back receiving room swirling and sniffing our solid black Riedels holding yellow sticky pads to write down our guess. You'll hear raunch, expletives, razzing and a lot of name-calling going on.


23-year industry veteran Jason Mantis from Bacchus Importers is our staple wine rep who gets things going as he walks in with his bag-ful of wine. It's pretty amazing how at times I'm trying to make an initial determination whether the wine is white, red or pink. You think you know your shit until it's poured in a black glass!

We've had some customers and crew hang out to see and hear the raucous. I hear is pretty entertaining to watch and hear us hypothesize. I mumble to myself:

"it's not Cabernet, it's not Merlot, it's not Zinfandel, it's not from California or Australia. It's earthy, it's leathery, it's European. It's not Sangiovese, it's not Nebbiolo, it's not Italian. It's French. It's definitely not Burgundy, it's not Bordeaux. It's Syrah from the Rhone Valley... Northern Rhone...
St. Joseph."


So I throw my Sacagawea on the table (oh yeah, did I skip that part? Of course we're gambling here... GREAT, now we'll likely get busted!) and scribble down a producer I know Jason sells and assume it's current vintage: "Nicolas Perrin 2012 St. Joseph" goes on my post-it note and I hand it to Jason. He shakes his head and says "fuck, thought I had this one!" I collect my $3.

This usually goes on for a good 1 ½ to 2 hours. It drives Susan crazy because she's the only one working. Pat says she's afraid to participate, but I just think she doesn't want to embarrass us. There's a lot of love here.

As Jason leaves he says "get ready for Thursday, I have a supplier with me." Thursday arrives and he walks and introduces us to Chris Laveglia from Brassfield. We have no idea what Brassfield is... a winery? a importer? a wine broker?


Turns out he's from Brassfield Estate Winery in Lake County CA. We taste through his entire lineup of 4 wines. The first was his 2012 Pinot Gris... Pat and I both guessed it as a Pinot Gris from Alsace. Next was the Brassfield 2013 Serenity Reserve (a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling)... again we both agreed (separately mind you!) on Alsace white blend.

Then we realize he's likely an importer with some stellar European wines. Chris pours us his third wine 2013 Pinot Noir and we both scribbled "French Burgundy"... I furthered my guess by noting "Gevrey Chambertin". Last in the bag was the 2013 Eruption (a blend of Malbec, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre)... Pat guesses Vacqueyras and I guessed Cahors. It was was draw.

When he finally showed us all 4 bottles Pat and I were utterly blown away that they were from California... and then I guessed them to be in the $30 - $50 price point.

They're not $30 - $50.

These are likely the most well-made and undervalued California wines that grace our racks here at FranksWine.


Chris Laveglia of Brassfield Estate Winery will be here on North Union Street Saturday from 11AM - 3PM pouring this 4 selection lineup. We'll pair them up with some wedges from our DiBruno Bros section and dark chocolate from our Ethereal Confections cabinet! The FranksWine Crew will do the same on Sunday from 12 Noon - 4PM.

We love good stuff here on North Union Street.

Can't make it to the shop?
You can buy 'em online here!


FranksWine BRASS 12-pack Sampler!
You Get 3 Bottles of Each Wine for Only $179.99!!
You Save $104.89... That's 37% Off!!!
Order Now!


Brassfield Estate 2012 Pinot Gris
Regularly Priced at $19.99
$12.59 with 12-pack Sampler Case Purchase!


100% Pinot Gris from Brassfield Estate's home ranch, on the west side of High Valley Appellation, has been known as "High Serenity Ranch" for over one hundred years. The fruit from their 2012 Pinot Gris comes from two vineyard blocks on the valley floor of High Serenity Vineyard. Both of these blocks are comprised of gravelly, sandy loams and are located in one of coolest vineyard sites in all of Lake County.

These Pinot Gris grapes were harvested during the night, so they arrived to the winery cold and were processed using minimal handling. After a gentle whole cluster pressing, the Pinot Gris juice was fermented with native yeasts in a combination of neutral French oak barrels (50%), stainless steel tanks (20%), small stainless steel barrels (15%), and concrete tanks (15%). The barrels and tanks were then aged sur lie with battonage (lees stirring) every 2-3 weeks to create additional body, texture and viscosity in the wine. This wine was bottled unfiltered.

The 2012 Pinot Gris gushes with aromas of sweet honeydew melon, Gravenstein apples, apricots, and spice box. A long and elegant mouthfeel balances bright flavors of green figs, golden raisins, Bartlett pears, and a touch of tangerine zest. The wine has brilliant minerality and a refreshing finish. This Pinot Gris is capable of pairing with grilled quail; ricotta stuffed ravioli, or seared salmon.


Brassfield Estate 2013 Serenity Reserve
Regularly Priced at $24.99
$15.69 with 12-pack Sampler Case Purchase!


68% Pinot Gris 20% Riesling 12% Gewürztraminer

The 100% certified Alsatian clones that produce these grapes are planted in the gravelly loam soils on Brassfield Estate's valley floor at 1,800 feet above sea level. The grapes are harvested at night or in the very early morning and arrive in the cellar cool and pristine. Fermentation in small lots in a combination of concrete, stainless steel and neutral oak barrels creates the full, rich mouthfeel that is the hallmark of consulting winemaker, David Ramey.

The grapes are harvested into late September at night when the fruit is the coolest. The grapes are then whole-cluster pressed and fermented separately to maximize varietal character. The wine was aged on the lees in stainless steel tanks and concrete vessels. During this time on lees, they are mixed weekly to add body and texture.

The 2013 Serenity Reserve is a distinctive proprietary blend that displays bright fruit-forward aromas of dried apricots, apples, and star jasmine with a touch of minerality. The flavors are rich and deep, showing Anjou pears, white nectarines, honeydew melon, and lime zest on the finish. The wine is balanced, leaving a long, clean and well-textured finish.


Brassfield Estate 2013 Pinot Noir
Regularly Priced at $24.99
$15.69 with 12-pack Sampler Case Purchase!


Fruit for the 2013 Pinot Noir (100%) was grown from three estate vineyard blocks, planted to a mix of Dijon and Pommard Burgundy clones. The location of each of these blocks was chosen because they are the coldest sites on the High Serenity Ranch vineyard. The low gap in the ridge above the vineyard allows cooled lake air from Clear Lake to spill into High Valley producing Pinot Noir with more intense varietal character, better color extraction and excellent acid retention.

The 2013 Pinot Noir was harvested at the peak of ripeness, hand-sorted, and fermented with 15-20% whole clusters to enhance varietal complexity. Each separate lot was then cold soaked for 3 days, in order to extract more color and flavor. Then, each vessel of Pinot Noir underwent a native yeast fermentation with twice-daily pump-overs. Once fermentation is finished the wine is aged in 30% new French oak barrels and 70% once-used French oak barrels for 8 months sur lie aging.

Aromatically the wine offers seductive notes of Bing cherries, pencil shavings, dried red plums, and a hint of hay. The mouthfeel is classic David Ramey: plush, round and silky-smooth. The forward fruit character of red raspberries and bright cherries are well supported by a finish of toasted bread, walnuts, and vanilla. The balance of all these components, along with its refreshing acidity, shapes this Pinot Noir into an exceptional hedonistic experience. This wine behaves equally well when paired with roasted chicken; seared salmon, mushroom risotto; pan-fried lamb chops with rosemary garlic; or pasta alla vodka.


Brassfield Estate 2013 Eruption
Regularly Priced at $24.99
$15.69 with 12-pack Sampler Case Purchase!


38% Malbec 36% Syrah 16% Mourvèdre 10% Petite Sirah

Volcano Ridge Vineyard is located on the steep slopes of an extinct cinder cone at 2,200 feet above sea level on the eastern end of High Valley. The pure volcanic soils are ideal for vine stress, restricting crop yields, and making wine that has both intensity and elegance.

David Ramey and his winemaking team is fanatical about quality and the use of traditional handcrafted techniques. It creates wines with both style and finesse. Fermented in small lots using native yeast, the wine is then aged in French and American oak barrels (30% New) for 8-10 months before being blended and bottled without filtration.

The 2013 Eruption is rich and intense. The wine exhibits aromas of blackberries, fresh baked bread, stewed plums, and a touch of tar, giving way to flavors that are jammy, ripe and unctuous. The palate explodes with ripe blueberries, mixed berry tart, fresh tobacco leaf, and toasty vanilla notes. The texture of Eruption is perhaps its most distinguishing trait - mouth-coating with an endless finish. Be certain to have a second bottle on hand, the first won't last very long. Assuming you have to pair this wine with food, it will enhance slow-roasted lamb with cinnamon and fennel, filet mignon, or pasta alla puttanesca.

FranksWine BRASS 12-pack Sampler!
You Get 3 Bottles of Each Wine for Only $179.99!!
You Save $104.89... That's 37% Off!!!
Order Now!








Donate Now and get your Jarhead Red! Book now! RSVP for Frank's Golden Wine Event!