I’ll bet you didn’t know that Claret’s really meant to rhyme with Carrot 12/13/10
All right, all right, first things first: I know I said I’d try to avoid California wines, and I’m aware that today I’m reviewing my second, but cut me some slack, people. When I see a bottle that’s literally shrouded in golden diamonds, and it’s on sale for $18 (reduced from $21!), you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to buy it.
So! Today I’ll be reviewing the Francis Coppola 2007 Black Label Claret – Diamond Collection (and yes, that’s the same Francis Coppola who’s directing all those newfangled talkies the kids keep raving about). Claret is basically a synonym for Meritage: both terms refer to blends of Bordeaux grape varietals that didn’t actually come from the Bordeaux region. The fact that there’s no classy-sounding alternative for international bubbly continues to make no sense whatsoever, and you therefore have my permission to piss off Frenchmen far and wide by using the word champagne for any sparkling wines you might ever encounter.
But getting back to business, the Coppola Claret is a blend of all five major Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the glass the wine was a deep, dark red, with ruby around the rim. The nose presented a nice array of aromas, including blackberry, blueberry, chocolate and something woody that was redolent of cedar – possibly cedar.
Blackberry returned on the palate, while black cherry tagged in for the blueberry from the nose. Mouth-filling tannins crept along as the fruitiness subsided, and the wine concluded on long, alternating notes of cedar and licorice. A medium-bodied, medium-intensity wine with an overall respectable balance to all its components (tannins, fruit, acidity and alcohol), this serves as unequivocal proof that you can judge a wine by its bottle.
If I had to sum this wine up in two adjectives, I’d choose dry and fruity – as I imagine Alan Rickman would be if he were ever to guest-star on Modern Family, as Mitch or Cam’s ex-lover. And if I had to come up with one complaint, I’d say that there’s almost too much fruit on the attack, which might be indicative of a slight glycerin flaw (excessive sweetness is a no-no for dry reds). But then, what the hell do I know?
I award the Francis Coppola 2007 Black Label Claret a solid thumbs up.