La Crema Saralees Chardonnay 2017  £37.95


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La Crema Saralees Chardonnay 2017

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

At the heart of the Russian River Valley sits a majestic vineyard honouring the late Saralee Kunde, one of the region’s most beloved and respected wine-growing visionaries. Awash with rustic charm, the 200-acre vineyard features a variety of Chardonnay clones on a diverse spectrum of rootstocks as well as eight different soil types – mostly sandy/gravelly, or clay loams. This complex vineyard dotted with flower gardens and oak groves produces truly magical fruit.

Winter provided much-needed rainfall and was followed by a mild wet spring. The wet weather allowed a return to normalcy for the timing of bud break and warm weather in mid-March stimulating the vines to awaken. The saturated soils promoted vigorous canopy and cover crop growth which required additional vineyard attention to keep the vines from producing too much shade. Daily temperatures were moderate during bloom and early grape development producing ideal growing conditions. Cycles of above-average temperatures in June and July accelerated maturation, but cool nights helped to provide flavour development and acid retention. Record high temperatures on Labor Day weekend led to an early harvest in the Russian River Valley. Harvest at Saralee’s vineyard began on September 6th.

The fruit was harvested in the cool hours of the morning before being gently sorted at the winery. Whole clusters were placed in the press where they received a gentle squeeze to liberate the free-run juice. The resulting juice settled at cold temperatures and was racked the following day to French oak barrels. Primary and secondary fermentation occurred in the barrel with lees stirred occasionally for texture development. The finished wine is barrel-aged for a minimum of 9 months without racking until final bottling.

On the nose delicate notes of Lychee, Citrus Blossom, and toasted hazelnut followed by flavours of Gravenstein apple, Meyer lemon, and baked pear. On the palate, the 2017 vintage presents bright acidity and a long refined finish.

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