The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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Page 78 of 148

78 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 "I've had a lot of ideas since I've been here," comments Sandy Walheim, long-time winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The headquarters in Alexander valley were once occupied by Chateau Souverain, and now the castle/fairy tale setting has been enhanced further by Coppola's imagination: including a stun- ning restaurant called Rustic, a swimming pool with cabanas, a tasting room that houses the famous director's movie memorabilia and an in-house bottling facility. "After ten years, some of those ideas may have been crazy, but it led to some fan - tastic opportunities all around, and I am honored that I was able to be creative." One of those ideas includes Francis Ford Coppola Archimedes, an Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 vintage blends in 6% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Aged 21 months in 100% French oak, the grapes are sourced from high elevation mountain fruit in the Pine Mountain/Cloverdale area – the highest AVA in the [north end of] the valley, tucked into the eastern mountains. Extreme conditions such as poor soils high in magnesium, windy, steep slopes and tightly spaced vines account for this wine's horsepower. It's a big, rich, tex - turally velvet creature with a strong contingent of black plum, black olive and Worcestershire. Walheim, who oversees the entire Sonoma County wine program for Francis Ford Coppola, also crafts the single vineyard designate Francis Coppola Reserve wines and the Director's Cut line-up. "Cabernet Sauvignon is the true star of Alexander Valley," she attests. "It defines the longevity profiles we're looking for." Sandy Walheim is winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola Winery. After sipping a stellar 1906 Claret from Bordeaux, Francis Ford Coppola decided not only to make a Claret but to bottle it with the gold netting adorn- ing the treasured 1906 bottle as well. Every bottle of Coppola's Black Label Claret, the best-selling Cabernet Sauvignon in the U.S. in 2014 and 2015, is netted using this special bottling line. INTERVIEW WITH SANDY WALHEIM, Winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola CAMP [ ]

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