Saturday, July 25, 2009

Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2007

Let me start by saying that I'm pretty rare among wine lovers in that I like both New World and Old World Chardonnay. Many wine drinkers strongly prefer to have lighter bodied, less fruity, and more acidic Chardonnays with a crisp minerality to them - they are the Old World camp who love White Burgundies. Others are fans of oak, oak, oak, some more oak, some fruit and a full body. My wife is firmly in that camp with no plans on leaving. She loves rich, oaky, California Chardonnay. I happen to think both styles can be great when done right and a lot depends on what I want to eat with my Chardonnay if anything. Having said all that, if you are a fan of New World style Chardonnays, you will love the Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley AVA of Sonoma County.

The wine is filled with aromas of oak & vanilla with some butterscotch and pear. In your mouth you can instantly feel that this is classic California Chardonnay. Flavors of pear and nectarine are front and center with the vanilla and spice from the toasted oak. The mouthfeel is rich and buttery. There is also a pleasantly surprising acidity to this wine that provides a little more structure than some California Chardonnays that are pure fruit and oak. If you like the rich, oaky California style, then you will love this wine. It is a well done Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

Although there are plenty of people out there who disagree with me, I happen to love New World Chardonnay with marinated grilled chicken or buttery seafood. I also enjoy it on its own. I enjoyed this bottle with some sauteed scallops with lime-butter sauce. Delicious! At under $15/bottle its also a decent value.

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