A Sonoma Coast, California Pinot Noir

Is it worth spending money on a half bottle of California Pinot Noir?

La Crema Pinot Noir

La Crema Pinot Noir

La Crema has been in the wine business for more than 30 years. Their vineyards are located in five great areas of California, where they cultivate mostly but not exclusively Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Todayís offering comes from the Sonoma Coast. This exclusive area is significantly cooler than its surroundings due to the fog covering the Coast Ranges, in sight of the Pacific Ocean. Are you surprised that itís a half bottle at the price we often pay for full bottles? And as the winery web site explains, the grapes are hand harvested in the early morning for maximum quality. The companion wine, another Pinot Noir, comes from that illustrious European banking family, the Rothschilds. Ounce for ounce it costs about one quarter as much.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
La Crema Pinot Noir 2010 13.9 % alcohol about $17 (half bottle)

Letís start by quoting the marketing materials. ďTasting Note : Bright ruby-red. Lively, floral accented aromas of red berries and rose, with a subtle peppery nuance in the background. Silky and round on the palate, offering fresh red currant and raspberry flavors and a sexy floral pastille nuance. Pure, nicely focused Pinot Noir with good lingering spiciness. Score Ė 89. (Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, May 2012) And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was expressive with lots of earth. It was dark. Japanese rice crackers with no Wasabi brought out sweetness and dark cherries. The main dish consisted of homemade Shepherdís Pie. In response this libation was very long and mouth filling. It offered light tannins and fine acidity. The accompanying mixed salad, composed of tomatoes, red cabbage, red pepper, red onion, cucumbers, and cilantro, rendered our Sonoma friend multilayered. Donít let them tell you that wine wonít go with salad. Green, garlicy Yemeni Jalapeno Pepper sauce on the meat rendered the wine powerful, full of dark cherries. But the excessive sweetness prevented the combo from being great.

The second meal centered on slow cooked beef round steak. The drink was very long and multilayered. I sensed sweet tobacco and light tannins in my glass. White potatoes that had been cooked alongside the meat brought tobacco to the fore. The pairing was very pleasant. Things were virtually the same when I went to the accompanying sweet potatoes. Fresh pineapple for dessert rendered the Pinot Noir dark but shorter.

The final mealís piece de resistance was a baked salmon filet that had been marinated in agave and sesame seeds. In response the La Crema displayed great power, fine balance between acidity and tannins, and tobacco. But it was too sweet. The steamed quinoa pairing gave me more of the same with additional tobacco. The wine was dark. Fresh strawberries made oak come into play in my glass but the wine was once again too sweet.

Final verdict. I would buy this wine again. If they could do something about the excessive sweetness I would really want to buy it again.

Access the companion wine A French Rothschild Pinot Noir (Under $10)

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include    www.theworldwidewine.com    with a new weekly review of $10 wines and    http://www.wineinyourdiet.com devoted to the issues of wine, weight loss, and health.

Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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