LA CREMA, one of the earliest California wineries to focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, makes these varietals off vineyards in the coolest growing spots of Monterey and Sonoma, and now for the second vintage, they are releasing a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley of Oregon. La Crema was founded in 1979 and became part of what is now Jackson Family Wines in 1993. The winemaker is Elizabeth Grant-Douglas who joined the winery in 2001. She makes stunning Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs geared to fine dining restaurants — and your table.
La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Oregon 2013, $30: This beauty is nuanced, and has great structure and true varietal character reflective of the Willamette Valley. In the words of the winemaker, it’s “graceful, balanced, deliberate and sincere.” It has an earthy yet refined character — think rose petal, cherry, black tea and especially pomegranate. It was aged in 100 percent French barrels, 25 percent new. Its character is different from what you find in Sonoma’s Russian River district or the cool areas of Monterey. It’s more earthy, and for me the notes of pomegranate, cranberry and black tea define it.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at email@example.com.