Dr Frank Blanc de Blancs 2016

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Tasting Notes


Dr. Konstantin Frank is one of the most important figures in the history of Finger Lakes wine.  Born in the Ukraine, where he earned a Ph.D. in viticulture at the University of Odessa on the black Sea, he came to the US in 1951 with his wife and three children.  He washed dishes in New York City until he was able to save enough money to move his wife and three children to Geneva, New York.  There, in the heart of the Finger Lakes, he hoped to use his cold-climate grape-growing experience to prove that vinifera grapes could grow there and produce magnificent wine.  It was not an easy task, but he was helped by meeting Charles Fournier of Gold Seal wine, who had been experimenting with European grapes but could not get them through the difficult winters in upstate New York.  Fournier hired Dr. Frank as Director of Vineyard Research at Gold Seal.  Frank argued that disease and poor viticultural practices rather than cold were responsible for the failure of vinifera, and after years of trial and error, he proved his point.  In 1962, he made his first wines at Vinifera Wine Cellars on the western side of Keuka Lake and started producing commercially four years later.  He was a remarkable pioneer and a visionary.  His legacy, however, persists as the fourth generation of his family continues his work.

Dr. Frank himself started the sparkling wine production in the 1960s. The winery has built a separate facility where the sparkling wines are made and aged. The winery is now run by the fourth generation with the fifth generation already on board.

The grapes come from several estate plots planted by Dr. Frank son’s in the 1970s. They were hand-picked into small 40kg crates with careful bunch selection in the vineyard. The whole cluster grapes were immediately pressed. Only the first most delicate pressing, called the Cuvée, is used. 7.5% of the juice is barrel fermented in used French oak. The base wine was bottled the following Spring after harvest.  Secondary fermentation took place in bottle as per the traditional Méthode Champenoise. The wine was left in bottle with the lees for a minimum of 4 years in the underground cellar at Chateau Frank. Each bottle is individually disgorged, corked, crowned, and labeled by hand. The month of disgorgement is listed on the back of each bottle. 450 cases produced.


From the winery:  Characters of fresh pastry dough, Bartlet pear, lemon curd, and minerality. The crisp acidity and subtle mineral undertones give the wine great structure and elegance. Leading with a fine mousse, the mouthfeel is creamy and profound. Long crisp apple finish.


Although most commonly thought of as a toasting wine, sparkling wine is very food friendly. Enjoy with rice preparations (paella, risotto), pâté (traditional or made with mushrooms or nuts), green salads, ham, quiche, fondue or as an aperitif.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Brunch Foods, Fondue, Green Salads, Ham, Just for Cocktailing, Perfect Aperitif Wine, Shellfish, Sushi

New York
Grape Varietal:
100% Chardonnay
$35.00 each