Top Rosés: Francis Ford Coppola Sofia

20 07 2008

The Rosé party is long over, but I am finally posting the last few wines from that event. I thought the top wines from our tasting deserved a little more attention than the others, so I will post each one separately.

This week is the Sofia Rosé from the Francis Ford Coppola winery. This is a really soft, delicate wine, with all the flavor characteristics claimed by the company website. Lots of rose petals and strawberries, cherries and raspberries. For me it was more raspberries and rose petals than anything else. This is something I find a little strange, because the wine is described as 100% Sonoma Coast pinot noir. The Sonoma Coast region is probably one of my favorite wine regions on Earth, and certainly in the U.S. The wines, and especially pinots from that region, have this incredible quality that I always find myself short of words trying to describe. They are also one of the first wines I could immediately identify on first sniff. This wine had none of those Sonoma Coast qualities.

Don’t get me wrong, it was excellent juice, and I’d be delighted to open another bottle sometime, but in terms of smelling or tasting like Sonoma Coast fruit, it fell flat. The other area where it came up a little short for me was acidity. A perfect rose should have an excellent balance of fruity and acidic qualities. This wine has the fruit down, and in spades, not overly fruity like juice, but certainly noticeable and contributing to the overall presence of the wine. For me it was just a little shy on the fruit end of things.

I probably would have been more glowing about this wine if I had not reviewed the technical notes on the Coppola website. Having seen where the pinot juice is supposed to be from I now feel like I’m being a little hard on it, but if you are going to claim a specific viticultural region, it should at least carry the primary qualities of that region.

All in all an excellent offering from California, and certainly a bottle I would not hesitate to enjoy again.

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