Tasting Notes Week of May 17, 2011

Director’s Cut 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Style:  Straw in color, subtle nose reveals tropical fruits (guava, pineapple, honeysuckle) that extend to the medium-weight palate along with flavors of ripe peach. Juicy and rich, the wine has lively medium+ acidity and a spicy finish.  8 months aging in an even blend of new/older french oak.

Director’s Cut 2008 Cinema

Style: A very pointed and focused wine with a rich nose of sharp black fruit and palate with concentrated black fruit, well balanced with subtle oak. The wine has many nuances of flavor, pointing to very select grapes and mineral rich terroir. Blend is 48% Zinfandel, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Verdot.

2009 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2009 Claret

Style: Rich and well structured, the subtle nose of plums and black currants leads to a mouth filling (med+) palate with excellent structural backbone and rich, ripe black and purple fruit flavors. Long lingering finish. A wine that will pair well with steak, filet mignon.

2009 Francis Coppola Votre Sante Pinot Noir
Style: Light and elegant, with an herbal nose,  this wine offers a delicate palate with flavors of cherries, raspberries, cloves, and earth. Enjoy with salmon and salads.

  Some notes personally sent on my request from Francis Ford Coppola Director of Wine making Corey Beck:

    I asked Corey why the decision was made to split the new oak evenly (50%new 50% old) instead of another ratio.

He answered:  “50/50 oak levels are based on our fruit to wood ratio. The winery and owners philosophy is to focus on the fruit and never mask it with wood, oak levels should compliment the wine. There are times when we use a higher percentage of new wood if the wine can handle it but those are only in big (tannic) vintages.”

    I asked Corey why most of the wines seemed to be aged for 18 months, instead of another figure.

He answered: “We do taste the wines every two weeks throughout the aging process. There are vintages where we level the wine in barrels for 20 months and some for 14 months. We’ve found that using 50/50 new to used oak really works well at the 18 month lever. But by no means is this the status quo, every vintage is different and we treat it as such.”

Black Swan 2010 South Eastern Australian Moscato

Delicate nose of ripe apricot and peach, this light bodied wine has delicate delicious floral and ripe fruit flavors, with racy acidity and a crisp zingy finish. Pair with salads.

d’Assandandro Inzolia ’09

Style: An easy drinking white wine with med+ zingy acidity and minerality, attractive faint floral nose, and crisp refeshing finish. This is the ‘signature’ white grape (Inzolia) from Sicily fermented in stainless steel to preserve aroma/freshness. Great with white fish.

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