83% Merlot, 135 Petit Sirah 2% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot.
With Merlot, the objective is to create a wine that has structure and complexity, but
soft, smooth tannins. We find that sourcing fruit from several different appellations
works best to give us a Merlot that exudes multiple layers of flavor and a nice
seductive texture. We also blend in small amounts of Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Petit
Verdot to achieve a richer color. Grapes that come from Napa provide weight, sweet
fruit flavors and the intense aromatics of fresh berries, while the Sonoma fruit
contributes natural acidity to create more balance and finesse. Monterey County
grapes provide concentration; a result of the well-drained sandy loam soils that
characterize the region.
2008 was a challenging vintage that delivered a very small crop as a result of spring
frost that devastated many of the vines. In fact, some vineyards lost 50% of their fruit.
The upside to having fewer grape clusters is the aromatics become more profound
and flavors more concentrated and complex. Rich, fruity and elegantly textured this
wine delivers soft, velvety tannins, and a touch of oak from barrel aging. Diamond
Collection Merlot pairs beautifully with herb-crusted lamb chops, marinated flat iron
steak, and creamy bleu cheeses.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, re-opened in July 2010, is the latest venture from Francis Ford Coppola, whose passion for wine, food and adventure is nowhere more evident than in this new production – a winery resort located in the heart of Alexander Valley, California. Among the many attractions at the property, Francis Ford Coppola Winery features a wine tasting bar, two restaurants, swimming pools, a movie gallery, a performing arts pavilion and a park area with game tables and bocce courts.
Francis puts it best, saying the winery is meant to be "a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life."
View all Francis Ford Coppola Winery Wines
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA
, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA
, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA
, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country unto itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.