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Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Chardonnay 1999

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • W&S89
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Winemaker Notes

1999 was a great year for Chardonnay. The growing season was so long and cool that the grapes were not picked until late in the harvest. This allowed ample time for full flavor and aroma development. The wine has deep tropical pear and pineapple aromas with the luscious palate flavours of apple and sweet melons. The wine is 50% barrel fermented "sur lies" and is aged in French oak for eight months, which adds the toasty, creamy texture and flavor to the finish.

When searching for top quality Chardonnay in California, there seems to be impressive wines coming from every major viticultural area in the state. The search becomes more focused as we develop our own stylistic preferences for our Diamond Series Chardonnay. We have settled on northern Monterey County, near Salinas, where the fog and wind blow through the valley almost constantly, keeping the area cool and the growing season lengthy. The wines here are very aromatic and are loaded with bright apple flavors and aromas. They tend to have higher acidity levels that really are ideal for both barrel and malolactic fermentation. But for the wonderfully expressive tropical fruit flavors, we need to blend vineyards from the warmer climates of the state like San Luis Obispo and Mendocino Counties. These grapes give us the powerful pineapple and sweet pear flavors that both add density and round the palette of the finished wine. The end result from blending the same grape but from different growing areas is to make a more interesting and enjoyable wine for our customers and clients.

Critical Acclaim

W&S 89
Wine & Spirits

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Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

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Francis Ford Coppola Winery, , California
Francis Ford Coppola
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."

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

NDV491194_1999 Item# 17184

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