Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2016
This Pinot Noir offers tremendous depth of character, including good weight and a velvety palate along with sturdy but supple tannins. This vintage is incredibly spice driven. A dazzling perfume of blackberries, wild strawberries, cardamom, anise, and toasted wood is followed by juicy flavors of plums, cherry pie, and vanilla bean.
The Russian River Valley climate is defined by a regular intrusion of cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west. Much like the tide, the fog ebbs and flows, arriving each evening, cooling the area down from its daytime temperatures by as much as 35 to 40 degrees. This natural air conditioning provides for an extended growing season where the grapes mature slowly for optimal development and maintain a good level of natural acidity. The Russian River Valley’s loam and alluvial soil compositions create a very rich and fragrant Pinot Noir that offers pronounced floral notes and a distinct earthy character.
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."
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.