WHAT: Frank Family chardonnay is known for its balanced, elegant style. It opens with citrus and peach aromas. You anticipate the great fruit in the bottle, and you're not disappointed from the first sip to the last. It's a complex wine, with tastes of apple, peach, citrus, nuts and vanilla. There are no hard edges, only one delicious flavor sliding into the next.
The wine spent 11 months in French oak barrels, so it has plenty of backbone, but the oak never intrudes.
THE WINERY: Founded in 1992, Frank Family has bought 200 acres of land scattered throughout Napa Valley. This allows them to control the grapes from vine to bottle.
Rich Frank was a longtime Disney executive in Hollywood when he started visiting Napa Valley in the late 1980s. He ended up buying the Kornell Champagne Cellars on the site of historic Larkmead Winery, later buying out partner and friend Koerner Rombauer. The winery offers a full range of varietals, including some incredible sparkling wines.
GOES WITH: This is a great sipping wine, but it really comes alive with food. I had it with barbecued chicken with macaroni and cheese. It was very good, mainly because I went light on the barbecue sauce. It was even better with dessert of crepes with fresh fruit and whipped cream. It would go well with light fish dishes, chicken or turkey with cream sauces and hearty cheeses.
REACH DENNIS SODOMKA AT DENNIS@BOTTLEREPORT.COM. READ HIS COLUMN ON ROMANCE AND WINES IN THE FEBRUARY/MARCH ISSUE OF AUGUSTA MAGAZINE.