Francis Ford Coppola Chardonnay 93rd Awards Edition 2019
The climate of the Russian River Valley is greatly influenced by the fog that rolls in each evening from the nearby Pacific Ocean. This maritime layer cools the vineyards down in the evenings from their daytime temperature by as much as 35 to 40 degrees, creating conditions that allow the gradual ripening of grapes, and better retention of natural acidity for a perfect balance.
2019 was the first time that California has been 100% drought-free since 2011. Winter and spring rains provided sufficient water in the soil through midsummer, with irrigation not starting until July. The vintage provided us with a mild growing season, allowing for very nice complexity and outstanding quality to this year's fruit.
Lavish as a Hollywood gala, The Family Coppola 93rd Awards Chardonnay is bold and balanced. Notes of stone fruit, white peach, and a sweet, warm note of oak on the nose are the perfect prelude to the flavors of apple and yellow fruits on the palate, all enveloped in a creamy texture with a full mouthfeel.
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."
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.