2007 La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Price: $16.99 @ Friend/Gift

What They Said:

2007 La Crema Sonoma Coast ChardonnayPer La Crema “The 2007 release of our Sonoma Coast Chardonnay bursts with vivid citrus and fresh green apple aromas, laced with subtle notes of honeysuckle and clove. On the palate, flavors broaden into rich spiced apple and crisp lime zest, with vanilla and caramel tones adding richness and texture on the finish.” – Melissa Stackhouse, La Crema Winemaker

90 points Robert Parker: “There are 6,200 cases of the 2007 Chardonnay Russian River. It exhibits plenty of tropical fruit and honeysuckle along with a touch of spice, full-bodied, rich flavors, and a subtle note of oak. This wine was 100% barrel-fermented and was put through 100% malolactic fermentation, but the oak is kept in the background.” (12/08)

90 points from Wine Enthusiast: “A beautiful Chardonnay, with a chalky minerality that anchors and braces ripe fruit flavors of Bosc pears and pineapples, subtlely accented with new smoky oak. Bone dry, this polished wine shows lots of finesse and complexity.” (02/09)

What I Think:

First off, for those that may have find this posting by accident (as well as for those that may have forgotten), please be aware that I am not a fan of the vast majority of California Chardonnay. I prefer fruit to oak and find that for my taste many come across as unbalanced. This leads me in the direction of those that are made using stainless steel or in some other unoaked fashion. The Catch 22 here is that my wife loves California Chard and in an effort to keep a happy household it is a good idea for me to put my personal wishes aside and “suck it up” every now and again. And that is the long way of telling you how the La Crema found its way to my table recently.

The wine was medium gold in color. The nose made me immediately step back as I was overtaken by oak. When I put my nose back in the glass I found some white fruit notes. On the palate, you get the rich, creamy texture (which usually lets me know secondary malolactic fermentation occurred) with subdued apple/pear flavors and the faintest hint acidity. The finish delivers the oak barrel in spades with buttery caramel and vanilla flavors that linger for a bit before fading away. My take here is that either the fruit is slightly underwhelming or the oak is overwhelming. That said on my “butter scale” this one is not on the popcorn side and when paired with food (roasted chicken) had its merits, perhaps I am getting accustomed.

To prove I’m not in the majority here let’s see take a peek at what the critics had to say. Parker said “…a subtle note of oak. … but the oak is kept in the background.” And the Enthusiast this “…subtlely accented with new smoky oak.” And they both scored it 90 points. Yip, I guess I am way overly sensitive to oak. Guess I’ll keep trying to refine my palate though, for the good of my marriage!

Rating: Pricey

For those out there that want to give this one a try it is available at wine.com.