Black Mountain is the work of Classic Wines of California founders, Fred and Joseph Franzia. The wine operation was started by their grandmother, one of the few women in the wine business, over 100 years ago. That would be enough to kick start any business. The fact that they were nephews of Earnest and Julio Gallo and cousins of Robert Mondavi didn't hurt either.
They have always been friendly competitors of the Gallo family. Their Franzia brand was so successful that Coca-Cola made them an offer they couldn't refuse in 1973. That's when they founded Classic Wines of California.
We have been featuring their wines for the last 15 years because of the price to quality ratio. That ratio is what accounts for their incredible growth in those 15 years. They went from 35,000 acres to 100,000 acres. They now own vineyards all over California, which is how they can make wines of such quality below market prices.
One thing about the Franzias, which is true of a lot of successful people, is that they aren't totally forthcoming about their business. For instance, this wine tastes like there is Cabernet from Napa. They own thousands of acres in Napa. However, the appellation says California and we're thinking a lot of those grapes went into this wine selling for a fraction of Napa Cabernet. It's obvious from the scents of cassis, dark chocolate, and earth. The dense black cherry and spice is reminiscent of Rutherford, where they have vineyards. Napa? You decide. We've already made up our minds.