In 1977, The Frias Family purchased 100 acres in the iconic Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley. They planted just 5 acres in 1985 and launched FRIAS Family Vineyard with the first vintage in 1987. FRIAS now has 13 acres of hillside vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Second-generation brothers Fernando and Manny Frias Jr. are at the helm of this artisanal family winery, and Todd Heth has been their winemaker since 2004.
The grapes for this Cabernet-forward wine were hand-selected at optimum ripeness from various blocks in the vineyards between October 18th and November 7th. The fruit was hand-sorted twice in the winery to ensure only the best reached the fermentation tanks. Once in the tanks, the grapes sat cold, soaking for a few days developing color, flavor, and aroma before fermenting. The tanks were gently punched down and pumped over for 16 to 20 days to extract all of the color, aroma, and flavor from the grapes. The juice was drained and skins pressed before being filled into barrels. The wine finished a native malolactic fermentation in the barrels in two months. It was aged for 19 months in small French and Hungarian oak barrels (24% new) and bottled in May 2021.
The 2019 Lady of the Dead has a backbone of Cabernet from Napa Valley, supplemented by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Graciano from premier vineyard sites in Paso Robles. The FRIAS Family Vineyard sources premium fruit from Oakville & Yountville AVAs, just a few miles from each other within the Napa Valley region..
The bouquet of this blend raises eyebrows in the best way possible. The complexity on the nose immediately indicates it is a wine of sophistication to be taken seriously. It offers notes of violets & purple flowers, blue and black fruit, and a subtle hint of sweet oak, while deep underneath is a nuance of freshly tilled earth. Dark fruit flavors and cassis on the palate are highlighted by top notes of Bing cherry and a touch of savory smoked meat. Great acidity and polished tannin make this wine a real treat to drink.
Lady of the Dead is an homage to the FRIAS heritage. The Frias family refers to her as “Catrina.” Catrina is their interpretation of the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de los Muertos (between October 31 – November 2). She is one alluring and sexy Lady! According to the Frias family, she is a strong, positive symbol and does not represent the dark or evil images that we often associate with Halloween, a different holiday from Dia de los Muertos.