Thursday, December 10, 2009

Francis Ford Coppola Bianco and Rosso wines

While the holidays might be the time you are thinking of that Napa Valley Cab for the boss, or a special Bordeaux to impress the in-laws, don’t forget about your everyday drinking wines that deliver a good fruity taste, with enough body and finish to make them a joy to drink either by themselves or with food.

An example is Bianco and Rosso wines from Coppola Winery. The 2008 Bianco is a Pinot Grigio with 6% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Chardonnay. The grapes come from the Pinnacles Bench in Monterey and Clarksburg along the Sacramento River near Lodi. This blend of cool Monterey fruit provides a crisp acidity and the warmer Clarksburg fruit delivers the ripeness of fruits resulting in a wine with citrus and passion fruit aromas followed by flavors of grapefruit, melon and pear. This wine would pair well with light seafood, and especially a crisp fruit salad. It is fermented and aged briefly in stainless steel tanks.

The 2007 Coppola Rosso is a blend of 44% Zinfandel, 34% Syrah and 22% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes come from vineyards in Lodi and Paso Robles. California winemakers have significant advantages over old world (France) winemakers in that they can produce blends that come from different regions and unrelated varietals. In France, regulations restrict what varietals can be blended. In California, blending a Rhone Syrah, a Bordeaux varietal Cabernet Sauvignon and a California Zinfandel can result in an interesting wine with a variety of flavors and aromas. In this case, the Zinfandel delivers juicy fruity flavors and aromas; the Syrah gives the wine its dark rich color and blackberry flavor, while the Cab provides the structure and red fruit flavors. The result is a wine with aromas and flavors of both red and black fruits including cherries, plums, blackberry and raspberries along with significant smoky oak flavors. It would be great with a simple hamburger.

The winemaker is Corey Beck. First experiencing the wine industry with his grandfather growing up in Sonoma, he graduated from UC Davis and has worked as cellar master at famous Chateau Montelena before joining Rubicon Estate and then on to leading the winemaking team at the new Francis Ford Coppola in Sonoma County.

Each of these wines cost only $10 and you will find them easy to drink. Coppola’s Bianco and Rosso labels harkens to the two significant influences in both California and Francis Ford Coppola. The central graphic reminds you of the California fruit crate labels that were popular in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Surrounding the graphic is a stage curtain, symbolic of our Hollywood history, pulled back to reveal the rich agriculture heritage of the state.

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