Saturday, November 13, 2010


Coppola Rosso

Francis Ford Coppola has paid homage to his Italian ancestry many times in his career, both as a filmmaker and a vintner.  His trilogy of Godfather movies portrayed the strong sense of family that exists in the Italian-American culture.  Most of the characters may have been criminals, but hey, family is family.  His Francis Ford Coppola Winery is also an outgrowth of his heritage.

Coppola's family history, as with many Italian-American families, has a close link with wine.  If my memory serves, he credits his Uncle Mikey with setting the wine stage for him.  Wine was always on the dinner table, every night.  It was everyday wine, nothing special or fancy, but it was good wine.  Coppola's Rosso and Bianco labels are tributes to that tradition.
The '08 Rosso is a blend of 65% Zinfandel, 21% Syrah and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The fruit comes from Lodi, CA and is vinted at the Coppola wine kingdom in Geyserville in Sonoma County.  It's billed as an everyday, food-friendly wine.  The alcohol content is a reasonable 13.5% abv and it usually costs around ten dollars per bottle.  I bought mine on sale for eight.
It's purple color is fairly light - you can see through at the core and it looks downright anemic around the edges.  The nose, though, is huge.  Bombastic, bright cherry aromas mingle with cola and a hint of brambles.  The palate is just as intense.  The cherries are joined by blackberries and framed by smokey cola and graphite notes.  There's a lot of cedar and spice in the flavor profile, too.  The wood makes itself known in no uncertain terms.  The finish is long and nuanced, with a red licorice flavor that really lingers.
Winemaker Corey Beck utilizes the aromatics of the Zinfandel, the spice of the Syrah and the heft of the Cab to craft a wine with so much character you might have to break with tradition and call it fancy - even if it is on the dinner table every night.

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