La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2018  £23.00

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Their original name, La Crema Vinera, means “best of the vine,” setting the standard for all we do since 1979. Their family-owned and operated winery focuses exclusively on cool-climate appellations. We’re continually exploring these very special regions— passionate in their belief that they make uniquely expressive and elegant wines

A craggy coastline. Grassy pastures. Redwood forests. Veils of morning fog giving way to fresh, sunny afternoons. This is the Sonoma Coast—stunningly beautiful, audaciously romantic and, perhaps not coincidentally, ideal for winemaking.

A cool climate means grapes spend more time on the vine. That allows a deeper, more dramatic spectrum of flavours and aromas to develop. And that creates decidedly rich and layered wines. Winter provided much-needed rainfall, followed by a mild wet spring. This allowed a return to normalcy for the timing of bud break, with warm weather in mid-March stimulating vines to awaken. Saturated soils promoted vigorous canopy and cover crop growth, which necessitated additional vineyard attention. Temperatures were moderate during bloom and early grape development. Cycles of above-average temperatures in June and July accelerated maturation, but cool nights helped to provide flavour development and acid retention. The La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay harvest began on August 31, 2017.

The fruit is a mix of hand and machine picked that was gently pressed, settled for twenty-four hours then racked to barrel for fermentation. Fifteen per cent of the lot was co-inoculated with the house strain of malolactic bacteria then used to top the remainder of the lot during post-primary fermentation. The lees were stirred 1-2 times per month and the wine aged for 8 months. The fruit was sourced from multiple vineyards spread across the Sonoma Coast AVA. The estate vineyards include Saralee's, Laughlin, Fulton, Shiloh, Kelli Ann, Piner, Carneros Hills East, Carneros Hills West, Piner and Durell. The clones include 4, 5, 15, 17 (Robert Young), 76, 95, 96, 809, Wente and Hyde Wente, and the soil is predominantly free-draining sandy loam. The result? Bright, citrus notes from the extreme coast. Round, soft flavours from the inland areas. And fruit and minerality from the south.

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