In a nutshell: A rich and mouthfilling Californian Zinfandel with an easy appeal.
The lowdown: Peter Franus is known for his Napa Zinfandel with Robert Parker saying that when it comes to this grape and Cabernet Sauvignon he has the "Midas touch". Throughout Franus' wines there is a freshness and vibrancy matched with typical Napa refinement. Notes of wild thyme, dried herbs, boysenberry, vanilla and cinnamon on the nose. A fresh and smooth palate with blueberry and cream flavours.
When to drink: There is great acidity and this is a very clean and poised Zinfandel that gives this wine an elegance that is all too often lacking in big Californian Zins. It's a natural partner to red meat off the grill or barbecue.
Following his entry into the wine industry as a student at Fresno State's viticulture and enology progrma in 1978 Peter Franus has had the privilege of working with some of the finest vineyards and growers in Napa Valley. The first of his own wines appearing in 1987 from which date he's gone from strenght to strength. Underlineing all his work is the goal is to preserve and express the unique character of each site from which he takes fruit. Philosophically and stylistically he relies on intuition, tradition and a minimalist approach to winemaking. He aims to create wines that offer richness, harmony, complexity and ultimately wines that can elicit the comment, 'delicious'.
Together with his wife Deanne they own some prime vineyard sites in Carneros and Napa. Their operation is quite small scale and some wines are produced in limited quantities. In contrast to many Californian wineries theirs is quite 'garagiste' in style without any slick cellar door or visitor centre. Whilst overall they fly somewhat under the radar and the success they've achieved has been largely through word of mouth their wines are first rate and well worth seeking out.