Napa Valley may be best known for its Cabernet, but Chardonnay has been just as important, even scoring a victory over the best Chardonnays from France in the famous judgment of Paris contest in 1976. The key to successful chardonnay in Napa is proper site selection; Chardonnay does best in the cooler southern areas, including Carneros, as opposed to the warmer, northern part of the valley. Frank Family sources their Chardonnay from cool sites like these, resulting in a balanced, bright wine that doesn’t suffer from the excessive ripeness or oak that plagues so much Napa Chard.
The 2008 Frank Family Napa Chardonnay is pale gold in color, with powerful aromas of lemon, kiwi, and lime, with a hint of toast. The palate is rich with baked pear and apple butter, and lovely acidity to hold these flavors through a long, clean finish. This wine has good presence and poise, allowing it to pair with a variety of foods. It is perfect for stronger fish flavors like swordfish, or with goat cheese or creamy pasta sauces. Stock up on this now, and you will be thanking yourself this summer as you sip a glass on the patio!
Appellation: Napa Valley
Harvest Date: September 6th - October 1st, 2008
Acid: 0.67 g/100ml TA
PH: 3.65 pH
34% New French Oak
33% Once used French Oak
33% Twice used French Oak
Alcohol %: 14.4
Take a trip back in time at the Frank Family Vineyards. First constructed as the Larkmead Winery in 1884, the building was refinished with native sandstone from the nearby hills in 1906 and still stands tall today. The massive stone edifice is considered an archetype of California’s wine country; it appears on the National Register of Historical Places and is listed as a Point of Historical Interest in the state of California. Owners Richard Frank and Connie Frank focus their energies on making superb still wines. The winery produces Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and several distinctly different Cabernet Sauvignons. The highly regarded Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is barrel aged for two and one-half years, is emerging as one of the most sought after wines in the valley and their Napa Carneros Vineyards produce some of the finest Chardonnay available. The Sangiovese, a rising star, is created entirely from grapes grown on Rich’s property and the Zinfandel comes from the Pope & Chiles Valley. Once owned by wine legend Hans Kornell, the winery originally secured its reputation with sparkling wines. Five sparkling wines are handcrafted today in the old building: Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, occasionally the Rouge and Reserve. All of these are made in the traditional French methode champenoise style.
Frank Family Vineyards wines are produced in small quantities and currently sold only at the winery and a handful of select restaurants and wine shops. A visit to the winery is not complete without a story-filled tour or at least a walk through the historic building where the thick, stone walls, high-stacked barrels and rich bouquet of aging wines create the utmost in winery ambience. The winery provides separate tasting areas for sparkling wines and still wines. Just outside, to the south of the building, visitors are welcome to sit under the giant oak trees, relax at the wooden picnic tables and enjoy spectacular vineyard views.
Learn more at www.frankfamilyvineyards.com.