The Francis Ford Coppola Winery is among the few wineries in California that offer a wide variety of high quality wines at affordable prices. Maintaining quality year after year is not an easy task, but Coppola manages to do so with careful selection of grapes from its own vineyards and many other sources throughout the state and by skilled winemaking under its Director of Winemaking, Corey Beck.
The wines reviewed here include its Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine sourced from Monterey County, two Pinot Grigios, several Chardonnays, including the noteworthy Diamond sourced from the Santa Lucia Highlands, its rosé, Pinot Noir, and two red blends. The two red blends, Pitagora and the Virginia Dare Winery’s The Lost Colony are standouts for their rich earthy lustful qualities. The Virginia Dare Winery is a Coppola family winery which carries on the history and mysteries of Virginia Dare in marketing its wines.
Francis Coppola 2014 Sofia Blanc de Blancs Monterey County ($19) 89 The Sofia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine has a rich mouth feel with flavors of apple, pear and stone fruits. Whole-cluster pressed into stainless steel tanks, it is blended with small amounts of Riesling and Muscat giving it a rich floral nose and a fresh mid-palate and finish. Francis Coppola 2015 Rosso & Blanco Pinot Grigio California ($12) 87 This Pinot Grigio offers light flavors of melon and citrus. It reveals good mouth feel with a dry mid-palate of minerals and melon and a modest finish. Francis Coppola 2015 Pinot Grigio Diamond Collection California ($16) 88 The 2015 Pinot Grigio Diamond Collection is a step above the Rosso & Blanco in terms of quality. It offers fragrant aromas of lime citrus. On the palate it reveals a ripe mouth feel with abundant fruit and overall freshness. A big contrast to the average Italian Pinot Grigio on the market. Francis Coppola 2014 Diamond Pavilion Santa Lucia Highlands ($20) 90 Yellow-gold in color, the Diamond Pavillon offers ripe apricot and tropical fruit aromas. On the palate it reveals concentrated fruit flavors with a hint of oak, excellent acidity and freshness, and a crisp persistent finish. A lovely 100% Chardonnay. Francis Coppola 2014 Votre Sante Chardonnay “Cuvee du Patron” California ($14) 89+ Fermented 50-50 in oak and stainless steel, this lovely wine offers aromas of orchard fruit with hints of toast. It has a creamy mouth feel with rich natural acidity, floral notes, a touch of vanilla and a pleasant finish. Great value. Francis Coppola 2013 Sofia Rosé Monterey County ($19) 88 Ruby red. The Sofia Rose offers sweet strawberry and cherry aromas and flavors. It is nicely balanced and more fruity than sweet. It is easy drinking with good acidity and a pleasant finish. Francis Coppola 2014 Director’s Cut Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast ($21) 89 This Pinot Noir displays a medium dark ruby color with ripe dark cherry and toasted oak aromas. It offers ripe red berry flavors on the palate with light toast, and is nicely balanced with a silky mouth feel and soft round tannins. A little more acidity on the finish would improve this wine. Francis Coppola 2013 Pitagora Sonoma County ($35) 90 The 2013 Pitagora is a blend of grapes from three appellations of Sonoma: Alexander Valley, Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Petit Sirah is the backbone of the blend which also includes Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Opaque ruby in color it is dense and richly concentrated revealing aromas and flavors of blackberry and cassis. It is mouth filling, with firm soft and round tannins and a long finish.
Virginia Dare Winery 2014 The Lost Colony Dry Creek Valley ($23) 91 The Lost Colony is a blend of Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc sourced from Dry Creek Valley vineyards. Dark ruby in color, it is a full-bodied earthy wine offering aromas of black cherry, blackberry, tobacco and toast. It has an attractive silky smooth mouth feel, concentrated black fruit flavors on the palate, excellent balance and a persistent finish. Too bad the colonists didn’t have this wine to drink.