Diamond on the Diamond with Coppola Wines

It's baseball season and the usual gathering involves beer and hot dogs and peanuts and well, you get the picture. But we're stepping things up a bit and we were thrilled to have a chance to hang out with our friends of Francis Ford Coppola Winery for a ball game. The Chicago Cubs vs New York Mets were playing at Wrigley Field and rather than popping a can of beer, we decided to sip some amazing wines instead. The "Diamond on the Diamond" event was a fun night of baseball, wine and the opportunity to mingle with Coppola Winery's winemaking team Evan Schiff and Tondi Balkan.

I like my wines but honestly, I don't get the opportunity to drink as often as I would like to. So when this event came around, I was really excited. That, and I love Francis Coppola wines! This event was dedicated to learning more about the wines of the Diamond Collection. They are made from grapes grown in vineyards across California, from coastal regions to inland valleys. By carefully combining fruit selections with precise winemaking techniques, they able to capture pure expressions of each varietal. With twelve single varietals and two distinctive blends, the Francis Coppola Diamond Collection wines are so beautifully diverse, there is one to fit any setting and every wine-drinking occasion. Here are the wines we got to try out at the event:

Bright and balanced, highlighted by juicy apple, cantaloupe 
and pear flavors enveloped in a crème brûlée finish. 
Awarded 'Best of Class' in 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
The Chardonnay reflects the distinctive personality of Monterey vineyards, which give rise to juicy apple, guava and melon flavors.  Whole-cluster pressing and a combination of barrel and stainless steel fermentation ensures that the creamy texture and caramelized sugar finish is balanced by a crisp acidity.

Crisp and bright white wine made to enjoy on warm, sunny days. 
Crafted in the classic Northern Italian style.
Grown in the cool climate of Monterey County, ideal conditions for this delicate grape, our Pinot Grigio is delightfully refreshing. The grapes are picked in the early morning and fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures, bringing out top notes of apricots and tangerines, followed by flavors of pear, green apple and grapefruit with underlying mineral accents.

A fruit-forward, lushly-textured Pinot Noir expressive 
of sunny days and cool Pacific nights.
Grapes are harvested in early morning, crushed immediately
and cold soaked for 48 hours, intensifying the color.

This wine has an interesting story best told by their winemaker Corey Beck: “Our Diamond Collection Pinot Noir is sourced from a vineyard just east of the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey Country. This vineyard was originally planted with Merlot vines – however, after a few years of working with it, we realized its Bay-influenced cool temperatures and abundant afternoon sunshine created potential for producing great Pinot Noir. This inspired our first pre-plant contract with the grower in preparation for the wine’s introduction in 2001, well before the rise of Pinot Noir popularity. This long-standing relationship allows us to deliver exceptional Pinot Noir from a prime growing region.”

Our signature red wine, layered with flavors of blackberry, cassis and roasted espresso.
Claret is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, blended in the classic Bordeaux style.
Their  prize offering (and my absolute favorite), the ultra premium Claret, sports a label that honors the first Cabernet Sauvignon blended in a Bordeaux style by Gustave Niebaum in 1910. Claret is a term originally coined by the British to describe Cabernet-based wines. This Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc blend is alluring and sophisticated; it is memorably lush with a tapestry of smooth tannins and succulent flavors of wild berries, plum and anise. Borrowing tradition of European wineries, we add gold netting to bottle to signify outstanding quality of wine.

A vibrant California Merlot, displaying luscious plum and red raspberry flavors.
Sourced from the same core of Merlot grape-growers since premiere vintage in 1997. 

The Merlot combines fruit from Napa, Sonoma and Monterey. The flavors and textures unique to each region harmonize perfectly to create a wine that has dark succulent fruit balanced by natural acidity. Intense aromatics of raspberry and blueberry lead to flavors of crushed berries, vanilla and leather, which are wrapped up in a soft, smooth tannin structure.

A "sky's the limit” wine, featuring fruit from top-notch vineyards
in Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and El Dorado. 
Blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot.

Inspired by Scarlet O’Hara of Gone With the Wind, a cinematic masterpiece, a story of hope, survival, and love that transcends life’s most tumultuous events. Her role, at the center of it all, a complicated heroine with a rebellious personality, a woman who left such a lasting impression on audiences that she became an American icon. Like its namesake, our Scarlet Label Red Blend is complex, tempestuous, and alluring. It has all the sophistication and refinement of Scarlet O’Hara, but a bold presence and rich, spicy nuances that make it anything but demure. Made from a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine offers true distinction. That’s what makes Scarlet Label Diamond Red Blend poised to be another classic, just like the Scarlet it is named after.

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