In a nutshell: A full, powerful and fruit filled California Chardonnay.
The lowdown: From some of the coolest climate vineyards in the state this wine is defined by the cooling pacific sea breezes and abundant California sunshine. On the nose there is lemon citrus along with tropical papaya and pineapple. These follow on to the palate and where they're well balanced by a touch of spice and good mineral backbone. It spent seven months in barrel which lends a subtle, but not overpowering oak influence.
When to drink: Really good when drunk alongside most seafood, or fish dishes.
When La Crema was founded in 1979, the Russian River Valley had yet to establish itself as one of California's most important regions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first few vintages at La Crema were devoted to learning the intricacies of cold-climate viticulture and winemaking along with the task of procuring first-class vineyards for fruit. Over the years, La Crema has expanded its collection of vineyards to include some of the most esteemed sites in not just the Russian River Valley but also Sonoma Coast, Green Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Mendocino, Carneros and Monterey.
With the 2012 vintage, the winery ventured outside of California to acquire Pinot Noir from Oregon's famed Willamette Valley. The unifying factors with all of these sites are their cool, windy climates and marine-based soils. The winery has also explored other varieties and is known for producing one of the finest Pinot Gris in the state.
La Crema's vineyards are all harvested by hand. The winemaking techniques are primarily traditional to ensure that the wines are true to both the variety and the terroir. The Chardonnays are whole-cluster pressed and fermented and aged in French oak on the lees with bi-monthly battonage to add texture and complexity. The Pinot Noirs are cold soaked for five to eight days before fermentation in small, open-top fermenters and aging in a combination of new and used French oak barrels. As with the Chardonnay, La Crema's Pinot Noirs are pure, accurate and reflective of their origin.
Head winemaker is New Zealander who has experience from right across the world. After first joining La Crema in 2007 he became full time in 2009 and was promoted to his present position in 2017.