Coppola Wines definitely make the cut

Coppola Wines definitely make the cut
By Wine Chix, Linda Kissam

Head Wine Chix Linda Kissam

Head Wine Chix Linda Kissam

I like reviewing Frances Ford Coppola wines. I know they’ll be solid, food friendly wines that have the consumer’s interests in mind.  Each one is like a special member of the Coppola family with its own story of how it was created which makes it an even more engaging reason to keep up with what’s up in the vineyards.  Once you read the reviews, learn each wine’s “story” by visiting  .

Something to keep in mind as you read my reviews. The wines of the Diamond Collection are made from grapes grown in vineyards across California, from coastal regions to inland valleys. By carefully combining fruit selections with precise winemaking techniques, they tend to capture pure expressions of each varietal.

The Director’s Cut wines are limited production, appellation-designate wines sourced from Sonoma’s diverse and distinctive microclimates. Named after the version of a film which most reflects the director’s vision, the Director’s Cut wines represent the winemaker’s vision of varietal wines, which express true appellation character. The small jump in price is worth it.  These are great mid-priced wines.

Wine Line Up

Wine Line Up

Six wines were reviewed at the Women’s Wine Council, which I organize and mentor.  The Council is made up of six women who love and promote wine.  Each one is assigned a wine to pair a dish with, because we feel wine is a social animal that needs food paired with it to reach its fullest potential.

Meet the Wine Council

Women's Wine Council

Women’s Wine Council

Three are wine writers, one is a videographer, one is our “snifologist” (no longer drinks wine, but provides the intermezzo and loves the social interaction it provides… by far the best at discerning the nose of a wine), and one consumer.  Everyone at the tasting is adept at social media.  We rally around and burn up those Facebook and Twitter postings live as we taste. Our consumer provides the final note of the evening by telling us which wine she would purchase at the suggested retail price for family and friends.

The Wines & Pairs

1. 2011 Pinot Grigio Diamond Collection, $16.  Paired with Ginger’s Greek Antipasto  Dip ( A huge hit that matched with almost every wine on the table). This wine  showcased light top notes of apricots pear, and grapefruit with some underlying mineral accents.  It’s a wine that  merely whispers its talents.  A good choice for summertime patio party’s and people just learning about this Sauvignon Blanc alternative.

Crab cakes with habanero lime aioli

Crab cakes with habanero lime aioli

The next two wines were assigned to Corie.  She was asked to create a bridge dish that would complement both Sav Blanc.  Her crab cakes with habanero lime aioli were a perfect match. Try also with thin crisp lemon cookies.




2. 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Diamond Collection, $16 Tropical fruit flavors mingle with hints of pink grapefruit figs and fresh grass.  A nice Sav Blanc, but when compared to its sister wine – #3 – it seemed a bit reserved.

3. 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Directors Cut, $21: Lime,      tangerine, and pink grapefruit layered with flavors of peaches and guava—with  a hint of mineral character.  Great      year-round wine, but especially tasty for summer or California Dreamin’ days. The guava was a big surprise making this a big hit with the  group.  It came in as the group’s number     two favorite.

When switching from whites to reds, we ask our non-wine drinker to provide a little something to refresh our palates.

Laura's intermezzo

Laura’s intermezzo

 Intermezzo – Laura:  Keeping with the whole Hollywood wine theme, Laura created Baby Virgin Bellini’s paired with locally made cannolis.  Laura referred to it as the Godfather’s Intermezzo “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” If you’re a movie fan, you’ll get that quote. The mock Bellini’s and freshly made cannoli’s were just the ticket.


4. 2011Malbec Diamond Collection, $18 – Coletta.  Paired with Farro flavored with Orange and Smoked Paprika. The wine was grown in several coastal vineyards, which experience an abundance of afternoon sun, little wind, and well-drained soils.  This was another soft spoken wine showcasing dark fruits, currants and cassis, with minor notes of minerals and spice. When paired with chocolate anything or pistachio nuts, this wine perks right up.  Not a great stand-alone wine, pair with food.

Pistachio Nuts

Pistachio Nuts

5. 2010 Claret (The word means blend)  Diamond Collection, $18: Linda:  Paired with Pistachio nuts. This Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec  and Cabernet Franc mix  is a signature blend presenting layers of  flavors of blackberry, cassis and roasted espresso. I liked this wine a whole lot.   The pistachio nuts may seem an odd pairing, but even our guest chef felt it was a, “Surprisingly perfect match.”   It also did well with the cashew bars, cannoli and veggie pizza.

Carmen's Cashew Bars

Carmen’s Cashew Bars

6. 2010 Diamond Red Blend Diamond Collection, $18– Carmen:  Salted caramel chocolate cashew bars. Featuring fruit from top-notch vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and El Dorado, this was the group’s number one pick of the night. Its blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and  Merlot hit all the right notes making it a unique voice of its own.   Extra hang time allowed the fruit to develop concentrated flavors becoming a layered, textural wine showcasing fragrant fruit. Warm, rich and distinctly spicy, the smooth tannins and pure thoroughbred blending effort make this appear to be a much more expensive wine than $18. The wow factor came when pairing with the cashew bars and the pistachio nuts.  Winner!

Special Picks

Consumer Pick: Coletta choose the Claret (one of my favorites also).

Laura choose the Claret and Red Blend.

Happy tasting!