Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Sonoma County Chardonnay 2010

80193The Coppola Director’s Sonoma County Chardonnay 2010 is sourced from multiple vineyards located thru out Sonoma County, sort of the best of Sonoma. Coppola also produces the Director’s Cut Chardonnay and that bottling focuses on two sections of the Russian River Valley which is located inside Sonoma County. Together they are a micro and macro take on Sonoma Chardonnay. 80% of this Chardonnay was aged for a time in oak barrels, 60% French oak barrels and 40% Hungarian oak barrels with 30% of the barrels being brand new and the rest barrels that have been used to age wine before. French oak and Hungarian oak are the same species of tree and are similar, but not exactly the same when it comes to imparting flavoring and aging properties to wine, but French oak barrels can cost twice as much. The remaining 20% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks and a portion of the Chardonnay underwent malolactic fermentation (malolactic fermentation softens the acidity in wine and takes away sour, tart flavors). The alcohol content is 13.5%.

The color is pale golden yellow. The nose is light and floral with pear and honeysuckle blossoms dominating along with a touch of apple. This is a wine with delicate crisp flavors, it’s a veritable fall fruit stand, peaches, pear, tart crisp apples and limes. With a nice creamy vanilla flavor on the mid palate, along with a soft touch of minerality. The acidity is well balanced and helps contribute to the nice tight crisp feel of the wine. The finish is fairly bold and lengthy.

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The Coppola Director’s Sonoma County Chardonnay is made by someone with a very fine touch, there is nothing heavy handed about this Chardonnay. Flavorful and balanced, with bit of elegance, I was expecting the 80% oak aging to weigh the wine down, instead the Chardonnay is crisp, nuanced and very well balanced.

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