In looking up the link for this wine, I discovered that Niebaum-Coppola is now going by the name Rubicon Estate. And apparently there's nothing on there about the old Coppola wines. A shame, as the Claret was always one of my favorites, as was the Sauvignon Blanc.
Dad took the family out to eat for Father's Day... I know that sounds odd, but he just wanted to see everyone for the day. We had dinner at Carrabba's, a chain Italian restaurant that's fairly decent. Dad had already ordered the 2004 Coppola Claret before I arrived, and I adjusted my entree selection for the wine. He had the sirloin, I had the pork chops marsala. The lentil and sausage soup was excellent, and I'd highly reccommend it to anyone who visits. Plus, their fried calamari is made with very small squid, so you get several tiny clusters of tentacles in addition to the standard rings. I almost made the rest of the table ill by claiming all the tentacles for myself. But truly, they're the best part.
The wine was quite good, full of dark berry flavors and just a hint of herbs and vegetation and leather on the nose. I think this bottle could have used another year, but I was happy with it. And it was good to split the bottle with Dad--no one else was drinking that evening. Dad's really responsible for my love of wine. He started getting a lot of wine as gifts back when I was in high school, and he let me cook with whatever I wanted. I was also encouraged to take a sip from the measuring cup, as long as I didn't tell Mom. (It was in that manner that I discovered the joy of a half glass of wine while cooking a big dinner. Just enough to relax you, but not enough to make you sloppy or forgetful.) Dad and I differ a bit when it comes to drinking: I prefer dark beers and powerful red wines, he prefers lagers and Merlot. However, Dad's a staunch fan of Scotch, and it takes me a while to work up to the point where I can truly enjoy the blessed whisky.
Here's to you, Dad. May we raise many glasses together in the years to come.