Summer Whites

Burgundy-Style Chards from California


Here’s a nice #summerwine. It’s a Chardonnay made by Francis Coppola’s winery in California, but as it clearly says in the label, it’s, “Burgundian-Style.” What do you suppose that means?

Burgundy, France, is actually the birthplace of the Chardonnay grape. There is even a village named Chardonnay. Monks started making wines here over a thousand years ago, and theirs is considered the classic version.

California is much warmer than Burgundy, so Californian Chardonnay tends to be riper, with more alcohol, more tropical fruit flavors, and more oak – which means flavors of vanilla and butterscotch. California Chard can be a huge wine that almost tastes like Crème Brulée or Lemon Meringue pie.

Burgundy is a lot cooler in climate, and that means Chardonnay there is more lean, crisp and has higher acids. You’ll get flavors of tart lemons, green apples and even flint in this wine. It will be lower in alcohol and feature less oak. It’s more of a food wine (perfect with lobster) and less, “dessert in a glass.”

What we have here is a California Chard, but Francis Coppola wanted to pay homage to the French by making a wine that reflects their more subtle approach. I think he did a nice job of achieving that; you should give it a go. See if you can detect the difference in winemaking style for yourself!

Link to this article: