Niebaum-Coppola Diamond Series Gold Label Chardonnay 2002

Celebrity-affiliated foodstuffs are a mixed bag … for every legitimate success (Newman's Own Pasta Sauce; the George Foreman Grill), there are countless others that fail with good reason (Timothy Busfield Black Cherry Soda; C. Thomas Howell Super Chunks).

Francis Ford Coppola's wines fall into the winning camp, delivering consistent palatability with a slight artsiness that never becomes pretentious. The Gold Label Chardonnay is not The Godfather of wines, but neither is it the Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's more like the Rumble Fish … a solid, nostalgic effort that does not linger long in mind or on the palate, but is pleasant enough.

Sure, what you think you're really looking for is the Apocalypse Now of wines, but that would probably be something involving grapes mingled with Martin Sheen's angriest piss. The Coppola Chardonnay is smooth, fruity, free of any vinegar aftertaste, and modestly sensous, like licking pear juice off the 1982 Teri Garr's soft, bare midriff.

My former skepticism of Coppola wines has been proven wrong … he stomps him a good grape. It's a sophisticated brew, nothing radical or particularly exciting about it. If you're looking for real chilled thrills, perhaps you'd be better off with Wes Craven's ChardonNightmare.

Review by La Fée