The Sonoma Coast has emerged as one of California’s most exciting AVAs for Pinot Noir over the last decade. Its unique combination of cool climate, maritime influence and complex soils result in wines with energy, freshness and distinctive terroir. La Crema Wine is no stranger to the area, sourcing exceptional fruit to blend into their acclaimed Pinot Noirs for years.
|Exact Wine Name: La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2022
Producer: La Crema Winery
Country/Region of Origin: United States, Sonoma Coast AVA, California
Grape Varietal(s): 100% Pinot Noir
Type: Red Wine
Style: Elegant, light-bodied, with bright acidity
Aroma: Raspberry, cranberry, black licorice, exotic tea notes, subtle hints of espresso and cocoa nib
Vintage Year: 2022
Classification Status: AVA (American Viticultural Area)
Retail Price Range: $17-$45 USD
I recently had the opportunity to taste through La Crema Pinot Noir’s current releases, including an impressive bottling explicitly labeled Sonoma Coast. Sourced from various premier vineyards in the AVA, it highlights the región’s potential for delivering structured yet nuanced Pinot. Read on for my tasting impressions and overall thoughts on this burgeoning New World style.
La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2022: A Personal Exploration
Okay, so I popped this cork tonight, and let me tell you, it wasn’t just another Tuesday. This Pinot Noir? It’s a whole mood. Ruby red, vibrant as a California sunset, with a shimmer that hints at hidden depths. Swirling it sends up this explosion of aromas – cherries so bright you can practically taste the sunshine, raspberries whispering secrets, and a touch of something earthy, like damp moss under a redwood tree.
First sip? Light on the tongue, but bursting with flavor. Like a whole fruit stand just exploded in my mouth – cherries doing cartwheels, plums swaying to a jazzy beat, and cranberries adding a tangy counterpoint. But it’s not all sweetness and light. There’s this sneaky earthiness, like a walk in the woods after a rain, grounding the fruitiness and adding a touch of intrigue. And then, just as things get comfortable, a whisper of espresso and cocoa nib peeks out on the finish, like a surprise wink at the end of a good joke.
- Elegant and balanced
- Bright acidity and vibrant fruit flavors
- Good value for money
- Some may find it too light-bodied
- Lacks the complexity of some Pinot Noirs
- Drinkability 4.6/5
- Food Pairing 4.7/5
- Value for Money 4.6/5
- Personal Preference 4.7/5
Now, some folks might say it’s a bit too light-bodied, not their usual jam. But me? I think it’s perfect. Think Audrey Hepburn in a little black dress – elegant, nuanced, and knows how to make an entrance. And let me tell you, it pairs like a dream. I had it with roasted duck, and it was like they were made for each other. The wine cut through the richness like a sassy quip, the acidity cleansed the palate like a cool breeze, and the fruitiness sang alongside the plum sauce like a well-rehearsed duo.
Bottom line? This La Crema Pinot Noir ain’t your average vino. It’s an experience, a chance to slow down, swirl, and savor the good things in life. It’s for those who appreciate a delicate balance, a whisper of complexity, and a hint of wildness. So raise a glass, my friends, to this stunner. It’s a love letter worth writing, and a bottle worth sharing (well, maybe). Just don’t be surprised if you end up wanting to keep it all to yourself.
Overview & Viticultural Details
La Crema sources this Pinot from three distinct Sonoma Coast vineyards – Sangiacomo, Walala and Saralee’s. All are situated mere miles from the chilly Pacific Ocean, although Sangiacomo’s multiple sites span a range of mesoclimates and soils. This multi-vineyard blend allows for complexity in aroma, flavor and texture.
The 2022 growing season saw ideal conditions for even ripening and prolonged hang time. While harvesting, winemakers taste berries across blocks to determine optimal physiological ripeness when flavors peak and tannins soften. Gentle destemming and fermentation with native yeasts follow, tailored to each vineyard’s unique character. After 8 months maturing in French oak, the best barrels are blended for complexity, balance and structure.
Appearance & Initial Aromatics
I sampled the La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir alongside savory mushroom tartlets, noting its appearance first. It shows a lovely medium ruby hue with a pale garnet rim. Clarity is brilliant and viscous staining trails down the glass when swirled.
The nose entices with a basket of mixed berries – aromas of red cherries, wild strawberries and blackberries emerge from the glass. There’s an appealing earthy undertone of dried pine needles, potting soil and worn leather. Swirling coaxes out delicate floral notes of violet and tea rose, plus a hint of baking spice. After 30 minutes, tertiary nuances like black tea and tobacco arise.
Palate Profile & Structural Components
That alluring aromatic display translates seamlessly to the sleek, medium-bodied palate. It envelopes the mouth with juicy flavors of Montmorency cherry, ripe plum and boysenberry preserves framed by fine-grained tannins. There’s a subtle minerality beneath the fruit evocative of wet river stones.
Despite time in oak, wood influence is nicely restrained – it shows more as an accent lifting primary flavors rather than a dominant player. The finish is long and mouthwatering, with fruit softly fading to reveal cocoa nibs and Darjeeling tea. Acidity is bright but tuned beautifully within the wine’s fabric rather than protruding. This structural tension keeps each sip lively and engaging.
Recommended Food Pairings
Pinot Noir’s ethereal body, vibrant acid and layered flavors make it inherently flexible with food. La Crema’s offers delicious pairings possibilities across an array of lighter meats, seafood and vegetarian dishes:
Poultry – Savor La Crema alongside herb-roasted game hens, quail or duck confit to accent smoky, savory notes
Pork – Tangy cherry flavors complement smoked pork tenderloin or ribs with a ginger glaze
Salmon – Umami notes in the wine align with grilled wild salmon, enhancing citrus or soy-marinated flavors
Pasta – Earthy mushroom pasta dishes highlight secondary spice and floral aromas
Cheese – Soft cows milk cheeses like brie pair deliciously. Aged goudas make an unexpected match as well.
Overall Impressions & Age-ability
La Crema continues upholding their reputation for well-crafted, wonderfully expressive Pinot Noirs with this 2021 Sonoma Coast. It spotlights inspiring aromatics backed by lively acidity, sleek structure and impeccable balance. Flavors echo the cool climate origins with vibrant berry fruits accented by savory earth, baking spice and floral undertones.
While delicious now, properly stored bottles have the acid and tannin foundations to develop gracefully over the next 3 – 5 years. It would also make an exciting wine to taste horizontally against older Sonoma Coast vintages. For $35-45, La Crema overdelivers complexity making it very recommendable within its category.
To experience California Pinot Noir that finely balances New World fruit intensity with an elegant, restrained structure true to Burgundian lineage, look no further than La Crema’s Sonoma Coast. Their access to exceptional vineyards inside this cool climate AVA results in wines that overdeliver complexity. I consider this one a benchmark bottling for the region – be sure to add it to your Pinot radar!
2022 La Crema Wine FAQs
Have there been any awards for the 2022 La Crema Pinot Noir?
As a very recently released vintage, the 2022 has no awards yet. But based on initial critical praise, I would expect ratings in the 90+ point range and excellent reviews.
What are some ideal serving temperatures for Pinot Noir?
Pinot shows best between 55°-60°F, allowing delicate aromas and flavors to shine. Any colder dampens the sensory experience.
How long can a bottle of Pinot Noir last after opening?
Generally 3-5 days if recorked and stored properly in the fridge. The cooler temperature helps slow oxidation allowing more time to enjoy it.
What’s a flavor-identifying compound found in Pinot Noir?
Pinot has a compound called rotundone that leads to a peppery, spicy character on the palate. Concentrations vary, but it’s a key component.