2008 Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Chardonnay

It’s been awhile since I did a wine post, and since I don’t have a tremendous amount of time to write tonight, I think the perfect opportunity to do so has presented itself.

This week I ventured to the local liquor store to find a rich, bold Chardonnay to pair with the chicken alfredo I planned to make for dinner when I had some free time. I came across Francis Ford Coppola’s Director’s brand again, and having previously enjoyed his Cabernet Sauvignon, decided to give it a try.

2008 was a rough vintage for Sonoma County, where Coppola houses his wine acreage. Early frosts and wildfires threatened much of the area early in the growing season, followed by an uncharacteristically long period of drought and heat. However, after some frantic adjustments by the area’s winemakers, many growers and drinkers agree that the year still produced some well-balanced wines…and well-balanced is certainly how I would describe this one.

Citrus was definitely the first thing I noticed on the nose. Loads of pineapple and lemon fronted the aromas, followed by pear and green apple. There was also a good amount of sweet vanilla from the oak-aging that was used on the wine. The palate was full of citrus as well and also added a bit of orange peel to the mix. The vanilla was much heavier on the palate and the wine carried a bit of a sweetness due to the honeysuckle I could taste. All of the flavors were incredibly well-balanced. The vanilla and spice from the oak didn’t diminish the fruit at all, but the wine still remained heavy enough to balance out the cream sauce on my chicken alfredo.

The verdict: A solid, well-balanced wine, especially for the low price of $16. The finish and complexity leave something to be desired, but for the meal I cooked it with, the wine was a perfect match and the fruit-forwardness was truly refreshing from an area that’s known more for its heavier, oaky Chardonnays.



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