Frank Family Chardonnay comes from the Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, California, USA.
For this review, I tasted the Frank Family Vineyards 2013 Carneros Chardonnay.
I received this wine as a sample for tasting purposes.
The Frank Family folks were kind enough to send along a letter with some great information about this wine.
In the letter they explained that the Carneros AVA is great for cooler climate varietals. They also explained that this AVA produces very low grape yields, resulting in “grapes with strong character and balanced acidity.”
Additionally, Frank Family Chardonnay is fermented in about 1/3 new, 1/3 once and 1/3 twice-filled French oak barrels for nine months. I hadn’t seen that combination before.
For more info about Frank Family Vineyards, check out their website.
You can also check out my review of Frank Family Pinot Noir. For this review, I put together a video with a friend of mine who has a great palate for wine tasting.
Frank Family Chardonnay Review
When I uncorked this wine I immediately noticed the aroma. It seemed to burst from the bottle!
On the nose I noticed sweet lemon and a general citrus like aroma. I also picked up a bit of pear in the second glass I poured.
Frank Family Chardonnay alcohol content 14.4% per the bottle. I did notice just a bit of the alcohol in the aroma, but it definitely wasn’t overwhelming.
Most notable in the taste was flavors of lemon zest. The flavor was tempered in the mid-palate by a sweeter taste. Frank Family Vineyards describes it as Meyer Lemon.
Coincidentally, I happen to have a small Meyer Lemon tree (which amazingly I haven’t killed yet). I would agree. That’s the flavor I noticed.
My Meyer Lemon Tree
It produced two lemons this year. Below is the second one. It happens to be on the branch at the time of this review. Just about ready to pick!
The wine’s finish was quite long and a little more bitter than I would have liked. The finish is noticeable all over the palate. Notes of crisp green apple were evident, as the tasting notes suggested.
Overall, I enjoyed Frank Family Chardonnay. I found it to be an elegant Chardonnay that stands on its own as a sipper.
My only concern was with the “competition” between the bitterness and the green apple of the finish. I liked the green apple but felt that the bitterness didn’t balance well with it. The level of the green apple in the finish was fine, but the bitterness was a bit too much for me.
On a positive note, I was really impressed by the complexities of the aroma and flavors.
Frank Family Chardonnay price $35.00 (suggested retail price, per the tasting notes).
If you’re a Chardonnay aficionado and looking for a smaller, family produced wine with a lot of character, give this one a try.