My first sip of Frank Family Vineyards actually happened at a local restaurant, Scott’s Seafood. By that time I’d heard so much about the iconic Napa winery, but had never actually tasted anything from them. So I was delighted to see their Chardonnay on the menu, the perfect accompaniment to my seafood dinner. That was over a year ago already, and I still remember how much I enjoyed that wine. So here’s a peek at what the latest vintage has to offer…

About the Wine: The Frank Family Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay is made of 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from the Frank Family estate vineyards — 76% which came from the Carneros AVA in Napa and 24% which came from the Carneros AVA in Sonoma.

The wine was fermented in 100% French oak barrels (34% new; 33% once-used; 33% twice used) for 9 months. The wine aged on the lees and received regular battonage throughout the aging process.

14.4% ABV

Flavor Profile: Upon opening the bottle of the Frank Family Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay you’ll find beautiful aromatics of apple, cold butter, pastry, and yeast. On the pour, this Chardonnay emits a morning sunlight-shade of yellow, settling into the glass more like a golden straw-yellow. Initial aromas are of soft poached apple, light baking spices, chamomile and warm honey. Swirl and find a bit of citrus oil, dewy grass warmed by the sun, and lemon curd — all enveloped by a thin, but clear circle of acidity.

The palate of the Frank Family Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay is soft, round, smooth, but for that delicate acidity that rides consistently through the tasting from start to finish, leaving just a touch of a tingle on the tip of the tongue. Dominant flavors are of butter, popcorn kernels, soft poached apples, lime zest, lemongrass, jasmine, and chamomile.

Food Pairing: I actually enjoyed the Frank Family Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay on its own as an aperitif preceding my salmon dinner, which I enjoyed with the Frank Family Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir. However, if looking for an accompanying meal, I can highly recommend anyone of the dishes I enjoyed at Scott’s Seafood — all of which could be easily recreated at home: steamed clams in white wine sauce; halibut with potatoes and vegetables; sesame crusted ahi tuna with an Asian salad.

More Info: I received the Frank Family Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay as a sample for review. (Cheers Laura!) Retail: $38. For more information about Frank Family Vineyards, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Frank Family Vineyards website.


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