Saturday, October 15, 2011

Francis Ford Coppola Votre Sante Chardonnay, 2009

Francis Ford Coppola pays tribute to his paternal grandmother with this Chardonnay, which the winery says is "styled after the graceful white wines of Burgundy." And the style does seem French although I'm not sure why. It's easy to stereotype California and Australian Chardonnays as big and buttery, drenched in new American oak, but that is a style that has become unpopular and is rapidly disappearing. Votre Sante Chardonnay, in fact, can hardly claim to be unoaked; 50% of the fruit was aged in new French oak. Because the other 50% was fermented in stainless steel, however, the vibrant fruit takes center stage and the finished product comes across as graceful and old world in style.

Medium yellow. Slightly unripe pears, nutmeg, melons and flowers. On the palate there is crisp lemon/lime acidity rather than sweet oak. Medium bodied and a spicy finish. Yes, this Chardonnay does remind me of many Macon Villages wines on the market today, and I like it for that reason. When it's priced at $10 or less, I buy.

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