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La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018 £29.95
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
La Crema's original name, La Crema Vinera, means “best of the vine,” setting the standard for all they do since 1979. Their family-owned and operated winery focuses exclusively on cool-climate appellations. They are continually exploring these very special regions— passionate in their belief that they make uniquely expressive and elegant wines.
One of Sonoma County’s largest AVAs, the Sonoma Coast Appellation stretches from the San Pablo Bay in the South to Mendocino County line to the North and runs primarily along the mountainous coastline of the Pacific Ocean. A sprawling growing region, the Sonoma Coast AVA is known for its strong maritime influence that provides a cool growing climate throughout the year with fog moderating warmer summer temperatures. With its unique geography and climate, the Sonoma Coast has proven itself to be one of the world’s premier Chardonnay producing regions.
The 2018 growing season saw a return to more typical conditions in Northern California. Winter provided ample rainfall which was followed by a mild but wet spring. Bud break occurred in late March which was 3-4 weeks later than the previous two years. Moderate temperatures persisted through bloom and early grape development allowing for healthy fruit set. Summer brought warmer temperatures but was absent extreme heat spikes seen in past years and in August the marine layer consistently provided cool mornings. The fruit ripened slowly giving the desired long hangtime on the vine which promotes flavour development and helps retain natural acidity in the grapes.
Once picked the fruit is gently pressed and allowed to settle for 24 hours before being racked to oak barrels for fermentation. 15% of the barrels are initially co-inoculated with a house strain of malolactic bacteria which are later used to top off the remainder of the entire lot after primary fermentation is complete. The lees in each barrel are stirred once or twice a month to provide additional texture. The finished wine is aged on lees for 8 months before final blending and bottling.
This all gives the wine aromas of Meyer lemon, gala apple, and subtle hints of oak are followed by flavours of white stone fruit, yellow plum, and honeydew melon. On the palate, the wine is vibrant and concentrated with juicy acidity that drives a lingering finish.