The 2012 Coppola Votre Sante (French for “to your health”) Chateau Red is a blend of Rhone grape varietals, mainly Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre with a few other grapes added in small amount to season the stew, sourced from several California grape growing AVA’s, but primarily from Monterey, the North Coast and Lodi. This blend is made in a Burgundian style where balance, acidity and length are prized characteristics. The Chateau Red is aged in used French oak barrels for 8 months, used barrels give the wine lesser amounts of oak influence, enough to add flavor and structure, but not enough to give the wine a great deal of aging potential, not that aging matters, according to statistics the average wine drinker is going to drink it within 6 hours of buying the bottle. Most of the wine from Northern California is based on Bordeaux and Burgundy wine from France, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. There has been a growing movement among winemakers, Rhone Rangers, that have been championing the Rhone grape varietals as an alternative the usual wines. It makes sense, because the Rhone Valley produces some of the best value priced wines from France. The 2012 vintage in California was outstanding, in the past the weather for the vineyards was fairly consistent and the variation from vintage to vintage generally was not too great. But in recent years the weather patterns have been acting up and after several years of problem vintages, the weather cooperated in 2012. So here we are, we have a Northern California winery, well known for its Bordeaux and Burgundy influenced wines doing their take on the wine of the Rhone Valley. The alcohol content is 13.5% and the bottle lists for $14.00.
The color is a blood plasm red that becomes almost clear as it reaches the edge of the glass. The nose is bright fresh red fruit, Red Twizzlers, soft curry spice, orange zest and a floral edge. This is a medium bodied Red blend, with bold, but balanced flavors. It tastes ripe black cherry, tart raspberry, a touch of vanilla, a very appealing brush of minerality that you do not normally experience in value priced California wine. The mid palate adds fresh strawberry, some lip smacking acidity shows up along with some juicy plums. The tannins do not get in the way and the acidity helps the bright, tart fruit flavors of the finish motor right along.
The 2012 Coppola Votre Sante Chateau Red is a very tasty glass of wine, there is a solid amount of complexity and layers, I would like to try Chateau Red with some Rhone blends in a blind tasting to see where this fits in. It is funny, many wines from France are specifically produced to appeal to the American market and here we have a California wine that is a shout-out to French Rhone wines. Pair the Chateau Red with blue cheese burgers with caramelized onions or just drink a glass or two, it tastes great.