La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2021

Medium ruby color; red and black cherry, raspberry, plum, strawberry, oak, vanilla, earth on the nose and palate.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2021

Dry; fine, well-disposed tannins and balancing acidity. Toasty oak is delicious rather than boisterous. Medium body. Cordial, friendly texture. Savory element throughout to the tart, dark cherry on the finish. Presents the plus side of a classic California pinot noir—heavier and less acidic than its cousins in Oregon and Washington State. Tastes like a true pinot noir—it is 100% pinot grapes, no blending reds to stretch out the production. Even at that, La Crema made 203,000 cases, so widely available. 13.9% ABV

Grapes picked early morning. Cold soak for 3-5 days; fermented in open tanks with punchdowns three times a day. Free-run juice transfers to tanks for settling. Racked into a mix of neutral and new French oak. Racked, crafted, bottled after 5-6 months in barrel.

La Crema–Jackson Family

La Crema is a family-owned estate in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Owners Laura Jackson-Giron and her sister, Jennifer Jackson Hartford, founded the winery in 1979 with a commitment to quality. The original name was La Crema Viñera (“The Best of the Vine”). The name, of course, has now been shortened. It still means quality grapes from one of California’s preeminent cool-climate regions of California and Oregon.

La Crema—Monterey

Laura Jackson-Giron and Jennifer Jackson Hartford are daughters of Jess Jackson. They also are owners of Jackson Family Wines, a major world player in the wine world. Barbara Banke, Jess’s widow, is the chairperson of Jackson Family Wines. Son-in-law Don Hartford is the vice chairman.

The La Crema operation specializes in Burgundian-style pinot noir and chardonnay. Craig McAllister is the head winemaker, assisted by winemaker Eric Johannsen. La Crema also has a robust a culinary-restaurant program. Tracey Shepos Cenami is the chef and cheese specialist. There are tasting rooms in Healdsburg and at Saralee’s Vineyard at La Crema Estate in an historic barn.

La Crema-Craig McAllister;

Vineyards are sustainably farmed and are CCSW-certified (Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing). Composted pomace (pulp remaining after crushing grapes) is returned to the soil. Bird habitat boxes attract owls, bluebirds, and falcons to nest and patrol the vineyards and naturally control vineyard pests. They practice integrated pest management by introducing beneficial insects to reduce use of pesticides. The winery’s water conservation methods mean they use half the industry average. All vineyard irrigation is recycled water. They employ a Tesla Energy Powerpack to reduce electric drain during peak times, and their solar array provides up to 65% of their power needs.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2021 is fresh and clean with attractive layers of quality fruit. Lighter version of California pinot noir style, although not as light as Oregon-Washington (La Crema makes pinot there, too). Solid, dependable, consistent upper end of a commodity pinot (La Crema makes 203,000 cases of this juice). Jackson Family Wines are masters at delivering quality and quantity, and this is a clear example. Pair with salmon and other fleshy fish; poultry, including turkey, pheasant, quail; pork tenderloin; lighter cuts of beef; veal; grilled mushrooms. Cheese—sheep’s milk cheeses; gruyère, comté, emmenthal, gouda, taleggio. $27-28

La Crema’s very informative website; worth a visit. Many nice videos

La Crema—Eric Johannsen
La Crema–Tracey Shepos Cenami
La Crema vineyard