Winner, Winner … Frank Family Vineyards 2018 Carneros Chardonnay and Grilled Salmon Dinner!

Hello Friends, 

The beautiful weather this past weekend saw me outside grilling ancho chili-paprika rubbed salmon filets—a simple, yet satisfying dish that begs for a bottle of wine. With a richly flavored, fatty fish like salmon, some of my go-to pairing partners are Pinot Noir, cru Beaujolais, Tavel (rosé), Blanc de Blanc (Champagne or sparkling wine made solely from Chardonnay grapes), Viognier, and Chardonnay. For this dish, I chose the latter. What I was looking for was a fuller-bodied Chardonnay with some richness, integrated oak influence, and an unrelenting streak of fresh acidity to balance the meal and provide brightness. Frank Family Vineyards’ 2018 Carneros Chardonnay fit the bill perfectly.  

Frank Family Vineyards 2018 Carneros Chardonnay

For the record, I hear about Franks Family Vineyards’ Chardonnay quite a bit. Chardonnay is my mother’s favorite wine, and Frank Family is (very) easily in her top three producers. Frank Family Vineyards does several good things with Chardonnay, including a Blanc de Blanc, late harvest, and two table wines. The Carneros (appellation specific) example is made from a combination of their Lewis Vineyard estate as well as fruit sourced from neighboring vineyards in the region. It’s a rock-solid wine; just as pleasant a solitary sipper as it is on the table. I see why my mother enjoys this wine so much, and I think you will find it delightful too. I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer up a big “Thank You” to Frank Family Vineyards for making Mother’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas shopping extremely easy for me over the years (my mom’s local wine shop in Denver carries this selection, and I have their number on speed dial). For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.

Frank Family Vineyards 2018 Carneros Chardonnay and Grilled Salmon Dinner! 

Frank Family Vineyards 2018 Carneros Chardonnay (SRP $38): Straw-gold in appearance, this full-bodied wine boasts aromas of ripe tree fruit, baking spice, and a wisp of perfume. The concentrated palate offers lemon curd and fresh cut pear flavors complemented by suggestions of vanilla oak, pie crust, and sweet brown baking spices. There’s appealing freshness and zing to this wine, making it an excellent food companion. If you see it on a restaurant wine list or the shelves of your local wine shop, buy with confidence—this selection will not disappoint. Region: Carneros (both Sonoma and Napa counties), California. Other info: ABV 14.4%, barrel fermented in 34% new, 33% once-used, and 33% twice-filled French oak barrels for 9 months, aged sur lie, natural cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

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