Francis Ford Coppola has long been one of our favorite directors — Apocalypse Now and the first two Godfather films are on our all-time best list — so we're sorry he's less active in filmmaking these days. But he seems busier than ever as a hotelier and winemaker.
We've written happily about some of the other wines that bear his name, but the 2011 Votre Santé Chardonnay is the first we've tasted in the newish Votre Santé (French for "your health") line, dedicated to Coppola's multilingual paternal grandmother.
This chardonnay meets right in the middle of the oaked versus unoaked camps — half the grapes are fermented in French oak barrels, half in stainless steel.
The result announces itself on the nose with lots of spiced baked pear, a flavor that follows through on the palate. Indeed, with its notes of vanilla, clove and Meyer lemon and its buttery mouthfeel, this chardonnay is a little like a pear tart in golden liquid form. On the lingering finish, there are whispers of tangerine and pineapple.
Priced at about $15 at wine-savvy markets, Votre Santé chardonnay would co-star beautifully with dishes ranging from pad Thai to Easter ham.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.