At La Crema, Specificity Counts
La Crema is a pretty big winery.
With vineyards in Sonoma and Monterey counties, this 150,000 case-per-year subsidiary of the massive Kendall-Jackson brand makes some good wine, and makes some wine I just can’t get into.
And I think I figured it out.
La Crema makes wine from one of five listed AVAs. All of their wine will be stamped on the bottle as either Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley, Los Carneros, Sonoma Coast, or Monterey.
The Monterey AVA is huge, as is the Sonoma Coast AVA. The Russian River Valley is a sub-AVA of Sonoma Coast, and Los Carneros and
Anderson Valley are two additional small sub-AVAs in Sonoma. So what am I getting at? (Edit: As I was corrected in the comments, Anderson Valley is in Mendocino, not Sonoma.)
La Crema wines marked Monterey and Sonoma Coast have always disappointed me. Those stamped with one of the smaller AVAs (Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley, or Los Carneros) always seems to impress me at least enough to want to drink more of it.
And this bottle fits that paradigm quite nicely.
A Christmas gift from my brother and his wife, I opened the La Crema on a quiet night at home. Just me and my sweet pea, watching TV, eating dinner, and enjoying this bottle quite a bit.
The 2008 La Crema RRV Pinot Noir is a deep burgundy red in the middle of the glass, and lightens to this not-quite-pink, pinkish-ruby on the edges. On the nose are bright, clear aromas of strawberry and ripe red cherry, plus something a bit earthy, a bit dirty that I liked very much.
The wine is light in body and medium in finish. It shows off traditional pinot noir notes of cherry and mushroom, and has an overall smokiness I found very pleasing, plus just a hint of candy sweetness.
Really a very good pinot noir. Definitely more on the “bright fruit” end of the pinot noir spectrum, as opposed to, say, earth and forest floor. But if you’re into that, this one is a very good choice.