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Francis Ford Coppola has a long family history with wine making. He was first exposed to the wine making process while growing up in New York. During this time, his grandfather and uncles would make wine in the basement of their apartment using the grapes that they had shipped in from California. In 1962, Francis met his wife Eleanor on the set of his first feature film. The two later moved to San Francisco and subsequently became the owners of a substantial and beautiful wine estate. Eleanor...
The 2011 Director’s Cut Chardonnay opens with a beautiful fragrance of citrus, cloves, and tropical fruits. It then reveals luscious flavors of juicy white peaches, pineapple, and spiced pears, enveloped in a toasted brown sugar and vanilla bean finish.
The Russian River Valley climate is shaped by a regular intrusion of cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west. The fog ebbs and flows, arriving in the evening, and cooling the area down by as much as 35 to 40 degrees before retreating the following morning. This unique weather occurrence acts as a natural air conditioner and allows for full flavor maturation and maintenance of the grapes natural acidity. Chardonnay grapes were sourced from a mixture of well-drained soils, including sandy loam, clay, and alluvial gravel. All tend to yield low crop levels and an extended growing season, however each imparts unique characteristics that create wines with tremendous complexity.
This vintage experienced a long growing season due to chilly spring temperatures and heavy rainfall that delayed bud break. These conditions lightened the crop significantly, but allowed the vines to have fewer clusters. The grapes used in this vintage created a greater concentration of intense aromas and flavor dimension which led to an expressive wine.
The Russian River Chardonnay grapes were whole-cluster crushed and fermented entirely in French oak barrels. Forty percent of the wine's fermentation was conducted in new French oak barrels, while the remaining 60 percent was aged in 1-2 year old oak. This method was used to achieve a richly textured wine with a spicy finish.