Charlotte and I had a wonderful dinner with Francis Ford Coppola winemaker Corey Beck earlier this year. Corey showed off a few of his favorite Coppola wines - all retailing under $20. Just as the evening was winding down, he stepped it up a notch and poured what may be the best mid-priced cabernet I've ever had: Coppola's Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon.
In signature Coppola style, the name "Director's Cut" means the version of a film that most reflects the director's vision. Corey explained that Coppola's Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon showcased his vision of what Sonoma's premier sub-appellations can bring out in varietals most suited for the region.
My two word review: Nailed. It.
This year's Director's Cut Cabernet is blended with Petit Verdot and a small quantity of Cabernet Franc. The Petit Verdot delivers a dark and rich tone that's complemented by the complex spice aromas contributed by the Cabernet Franc.
The wine has an elegant structure with layered fruit and a long, aromatic finish. I tasted flavors of cassis and black cherries enhanced by hints of espresso bean, spice and toasted oak. It's great now, but will just get better with age.
Wines are rated on a scale of 1-5 corks. A 1-cork wine is good for killing fire ants; 5-cork wines are good enough to drink every day and can even be shared with your very best friends.
Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon retails for about $25. Coppola wines are available at big box outlets (Costco), better liquor stores, wine stores and online at Francis Coppola Winery.