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.
In the glass, this wine is light straw in color with white gold reflections from the light.
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 were flavors of lemon zest. The flavor was tempered in the mid-palate by a sweeter taste. Frank Family Vineyards describes it as Meyer Lemon.
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.

Bogle Merlot comes from Bogle Vineyards in Clarksburg, California. For this review, I tasted the 2012 vintage of the Bogle Merlot.
According to the winemaker’s notes, the 2012 Merlot had a great growing season in California. Most notable was a long and cool summer.
Fruit for the wine was sourced from the Lodi, Clarksburg and Monterey vineyards.
Aging occurred for twelve months in American oak barrels and the wine was released in February of 2014. For more info on this wine, including the technical notes, check out the Bogle Merlot page on the Bogle Vineyards website.
In the glass, Bogle Merlot is dark garnet in color. Some light does penetrate this wine and many red reflections shine through.
Legs formed immediately upon swirling. They were numerous, varying in size and fell slowly down the sides of the glass.
This is a very aromatic wine. The aroma is noticeable from far away and I picked up earth, tobacco and ripe black cherry. I also noticed the aroma never faded and there was little to no whiff of alcohol.
Bogle Merlot alcohol content 13.5%, per the bottle. The wine’s taste was very enjoyable. Noted were flavors of bold dark cherry and other rich dark fruits. There was also a hint of vanilla toast. It’s a heavy Merlot, but not overly sweet. It’s also quite smooth drinking.
Tannins were very evident and nicely structured. They could be felt all over the palate.
The wine’s finish was quite long. Although the tannins were very present, they did not overwhelm the long finish.
Overall, I really enjoyed Bogle Merlot. I found it to be a chunky Merlot. All elements of the wine balanced each other well and played nicely together.
I think this wine is a great sipper on its own. I also think the tannins in this wine would cut through a heavy sauce or juicy steak.
Bogle Merlot price $9.99. Recommend!

The post Frank Family Chardonnay appeared first on Honest Wine Reviews.

The post Bogle Merlot Wine Review appeared first on Honest Wine Reviews.

About The Author

Jon is the creator and owner of Honest Wine Reviews, a website that reviews today's popular wines and wine clubs. His book, "Wine With Friends - 25 Recommended Wines to Serve and Share" is now available on Amazon.

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