2014 La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma

Year: 2014
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 88
Connoisseurs' Guide: 87
Wine Enthusiast: 90
White Wine
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"Weighted toward smoky, toasty oak, with a charry edge overriding the creamy pear, apple and melon notes. Time may bring the elements into a more harmonious balance. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. — JL" (WS)

"I enjoyed the Chardonnays, especially the outstanding value, the 2014 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast. A heck of a Chardonnay for $23.00, with notes of tropical pineapple and caramelized orange, this elegant, crisp, medium-bodied wine sells for a song. It is 94% barrel fermented, aged in 15% new French oak, American oak and bottled after eight months. The amazing thing is that there are 710,000 cases of this terrific value. Drink it over the next year." (WA)

"Inclining to ripeness without abandoning fruit and finding a note of creamy sweetness to its dominant theme of juicy red apples, this slightly fat and full-bodied Chardonnay, while in no imminent danger of drying out anytime soon, is a flavorful, easy-to-taste offering whose ready richness and wide-open, soft-edged style make a strong case for drinking before the bloom of youth has faded and worn off. Reviewed: November 2016" (CG)

"This juicy, medium-bodied wine offers a mix of crisp lemon meringue and richer notions of pear compote and biscotti. Grapes are sourced from a range of vineyards, including Saralee's." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Like the Burgundy wine region of France, the vineyards of Sonoma Coast offer an unusually long, cool and steady growing season. Lingering fog and wind from the nearby Pacific Ocean moderate temperatures throughout the growing season and contribute to the slow ripening process. With an extended "hang" time on the vines, the results are small berries with firm acidity and highly concentrated aromas and flavors.

"This wine opens with layered aromas of vanilla, yellow plum, fresh peach blossom and ripe citrus. On the palate are flavors of locally grown Gravenstein apple framed by hints of sweet spice and shortbread. The end result is a broad, juicy, and beautifully balanced mouthfeel." -Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, Winemaker

Fruit for this wine was hand-selected from cool estate and grower vineyard sites within the Sonoma Coast boundaries – all within 30 miles of the Pacific Ocean. The resulting blend is a complex, layered wine, representing the spectrum of growing conditions found within the Sonoma Coast. It embodies incredibly concentrated wines on the extreme coast, with ripened pear and melon notes reflective of the Russian River Valley, stone fruit and minerality of the Los Carneros region, and broader texture of the Chalk Hill.

Grapes for this wine were picked at the coolest times of the day, by both hand pickers and machines. Hand-picked whole clusters and machine-picked berries went immediately to press. The juice spent one night in tank to settle, before being racked into predominantly French oak barrels to ferment. A small percentage was put into stainless steel tank fermenters in order to preserve the aromas of fresh fruit. After inoculation of malolactic culture, and stirring every three to four weeks, the wine was ready to be blended and bottled after five and a half months of aging.