Magic and Deliciousness

I can’t lie; last week was an incredibly stressful week—both at work and at home. As the week progressed, work got busier and busier, to the point where I was in back-to-back meetings for ¾ of the day on Friday. That combined with my trying to get ahead of my work because I will be in CA at the end of the week for the North America Wine Bloggers Conference just made me feel like things were moments away from chaos. As if that wasn’t enough, there is some ongoing drama in my building; so, as a member of the condo association board, my spare time has been focused on those issues. By the time Friday finally arrived, I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. Hubby and I ordered some Italian delivery from a local restaurant, I opened a bottle of 2006 Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay, and I collapsed on the couch to watch continue my Harry Potter movie marathon in preparation for seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Sunday evening.

The 2006 Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay (winery, snooth) was 96% Chardonnay grapes and was a clear, medium lemon color with surprisingly slow forming legs. On the nose, the wine was clean and dominated by citrus aromas—lime, grapefruit, and a touch of lemon. The citrus smell was followed by ripe pear and ginger aromas. In the mouth, the strong lime and grapefruit flavors were followed by equally strong pear, granny smith apple, and vanilla flavors. There was also a touch of ginger on the finish. The wine had medium acidity and medium-to-high alcohol, with a smooth, medium body. The wine definitely saw some oak and underwent malolactic fermentation, so it had a soft, luscious feel in the mouth rather than a crisp, freshness.

If you’re interested in another review of this Chardonnay, I recommend reading the one on Bigger Than Your Head. Fredric Koeppel’s review of the wine appears about ¾ of the way through the blog post, but beforehand, he does a wonderful job describing the Chardonnay production process. It’s the perfect follow-up to the TTT&T from this past week.

Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll definitely have a decent, reliable glass of wine. At $19, the 2006 Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay was what I expect in an oaked California Chardonnay. It didn’t t offer anything unusual or surprising, but, as it wasn’t too oaky, it was a good, solid, enjoyable choice. I paired the wine with spinach and beef cannelloni in white cream sauce, which was a wonderful combination as the flavors in the pasta’s white cream sauce were enhanced by the buttery vanilla taste of the wine. After dinner, I paired the wine with some knitting and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which also made for a good combination. I was sorry that I didn’t have any popcorn to go with it because I think that would have been perfect combination, not to mention a great way to finish my Harry Potter marathon.

Overall: 3 Corks


  1. Mark says

    I had an opportunity to sample this Chardonnay two weeks ago. I also agree that it's decent but nothing special. The $19 price tag seemed a bit on the high end for this wine.

    Conversely, I did have a great experience with the 2007 Frei Brothers Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. At $17 a bottle, it’s definitely worth looking for.

    Enjoy the conference and I'll see you there next year!

  2. Alleigh says

    That's good to know about the Zinfandel. I will have to keep my eye out for it.

    I'm sorry that I won't have a chance to meet you at the conference this year, but definitely next year!

  3. The Wine Whore says

    This one isn't bad but won't blow your socks off!

    Great review… hope your stress level gets a chance to subside!


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