So, way back in 1988 a little known film by Francis Ford Coppola hit the screens of America’s movie houses. . .Tucker, A Man and His Dream starring Jeff Bridges debuted to less than thrilling audience attendance. Yes, the film was critically acclaimed, but audiences just couldn’t connect with the content. The film recounts the story of Preston Tucker and his attempt to produce and market the 1948 Tucker Sedan, which was met with scandal between the “Big Three automobile manufacturers” and accusations of stock fraud from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Coppola had a certain amount of personal affinity with the short-lived legacy of Preston Tucker. His father, Carmine Coppola, had been one of the original investors in Tucker stock and purchased one of the cars off the production line. Coppola included the involvement of Preston Tucker’s children, grandchildren and members of the Tucker Estate during the development of Tucker in the late 1970s, as well as during filming in 1987. Despite helming his “labor of love,” Coppola was insistent that Tucker: The Man and His Dream would be his last Hollywood project. He reiterated a long-held dream of his own, embarking on a “period of amateurism and experimentation as a Hollywood dropout.”
Who would have known that shortly after this film’s release, Mr. Coppola would go into the wine business by purchasing a vineyard. . .and who would have thought that a few short years after that, Mr. Coppola would begin producing award winning wines recognized throughout the Napa Valley (Geyersville, California) as big, bold and trend-setting. We even visited Rubicon Estates when on a wine trip there in 2008. . .and on the second level of the expansive tasting room was a fully restored, 1948 Tucker automobile. It was–a thing of beauty.
Tonight’s wine is a tip of the hat to Mr. Coppola and his movie magic and wine making prowess. Jean found this while on a ‘scouting’ trip to HEB. We opened a 2011 Rosso & Bianco Rosso Red Wine–Rosso is made from a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from diverse growing regions across California. We immediately noticed an overwhelming aroma of dried plums, dates and apricots. The nose was distinct; however, the tasting was much more complicated. We struggled for any fruit on the palate or the finish. While the tannins were relatively smooth, the wine had nothing to offer in the way of real taste. The winery stated, “The supple texture and rich, juicy flavors of plum, cherries, mocha, and strawberry jam make this wine a perfect accompaniment to almost any meal.” We were left with a meal and a red wine to help wash it down. At less than $15 a bottle, you can do really well by finding other wines in the same price point with better flavor and better finish–there are plenty of better wines. Is this wine too young? Perhaps, but one could suggest that it’s commercial value through thousands of cases is better suited to the wine DRINKER and NOT the wine LOVER.
Regardless, we are fans of several Coppola wines. His top of the line, Rubicon Estates vintages are the stuff that legends are made of and red carpets are made for, but tonight’s offering was no better than a Saturday matinee. We’ve watched Jeff Bridges in Tucker, A Man and His Dream several times. While the film wasn’t a commercial success, if you watch Mr. Bridges, you see some acting brilliance that would carry him through the 80’s, 90’s 2000’s and now in the 2010’s. . .talk about a true professional at his craft!! Sometimes we go to the movies because the story line grabs us; sometimes we go because the actors/actresses appeal to us. . .and sometimes we go to the movies to escape. Tonight we escaped–but still had to taste the wine.
Please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.