The Chardonnays reviewed here are from three different collections of the Francis Coppola Winery and are made from grapes sourced from several of California’s best growing regions. The Director’s Collection which is a series of wines to “showcase Sonoma County” as a premier wine growing region, the Diamond Collection which is intended to offer “wines of character and complexity” at affordable prices, and the Votre Santé which is a tribute to Francis’ paternal grandmother. The wines are made under the direction of Winemaker Corey Beck.
We were pleasantly surprised by these wines. They’re well made, fairly priced for their quality and provide a pleasant drinking experience. While they aren’t exemplary of any particular terroir, they are delicious wines offered at a fair price. Our favorite Chardonnays by far are from the Diamond Collection; we especially liked the Diamond Pavillon with its note of fragrant Muscat. But we think readers will like the others as well.
Francis Ford Coppola 2011 Director’s Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Sonoma County ($18) 88 The 2011 Director’s Sonoma Coast Chardonnay displays light aromas of orchard and tropical fruit on the nose. It has a pleasantly textured palate with notes of citrus and spice, high acidity and a short finish. Francis Ford Coppola 2011 Director’s Cut Chardonnay Russian River Valley ($20) 88+ This 2011 Russian River Chardonnay reveals fragrant aromas of light citrus followed by flavors of tropical fruit and a hint of vanilla on the palate. It has a soft and creamy mouth feel with high acidity and a tart finish. Francis Ford Coppola 2011 Diamond Collection Chardonnay Monterey ($16) 89 The 2011 Diamond Collection Chardonnay shows light and delicate aromas and flavors of yellow apple, melon and pineapple. It is nicely structured with good freshness, crisp acidity and a persistent finish. Francis Ford Coppola 2011 Diamond Collection Diamond Pavillon Santa Lucia HIghlands ($20) 90+The 2011 Diamond Pavillion is a blend of 98% Chardonnay and 2% Muscat. It is the most attractive wine in this group of five value Chardonnays. It offers fragrant aromas of ripe tropical fruit and has a rich and full palate of melon, pear and light toast with excellent balance and acidity. Delicious, and excellent value. Francis Ford Coppola 2011 Votre Santé Chardonnay California ($14) 88 The 2011 Votre Santé Chardonnay is half fermented in oak and half in stainless steel. It offers fresh aromas of green apple, citrus and melon. with a soft texture, fresh fruit flavors and pleasant acidity on the palate. Very drinkable.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler
April 18, 2013