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La Crema Saralee's Vineyard Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE90
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

At the heart of the Russian River Valley sits a majestic vineyard honoring the late Saralee Kunde, one of the region’s most beloved and respected wine-growing visionaries. Atop rolling vineyards, awash in rustic charm and dotted with flower gardens and oak groves, it’s truly storybook. And the fruit? Magical.

The 2015 vintage shows aromas of lemon blossom, golden delicious apple and yellow plum. Asian pear, apricot and lemon curd flavors. The wine is plush and richly textured with mineral undertones and balanced acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Opening with beautiful aromatics, this wine has a heady invitation of orange and apple blossom before revealing a sublime texture and rich oak. Pillowy on the palate, it offers Asian pear and apple flavors, with a slight confectionery quality of crème brûlée.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Oak figures in nicely, with a kiss of smoke and toast amid green apple, citrus, pear and honeydew notes, making for a complex and cleansing drink. Drink now through 2021.
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La Crema

La Crema

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La Crema, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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The winery's original name, La Crema Viñera, means “best of the vine,” setting the standard for all the team has done since 1979. For more than 35 years, the family-owned and operated winery has focused exclusively on cool-climate appellations, from its original home in the Russian River Valley, to Monterey and, now, the Willamette Valley. La Crema is continually exploring these very special regions—passionate in the belief that they make uniquely expressive and elegant wines. Thorough vineyard site selection and boutique winemaking techniques ensure the consistently distinct, naturally balanced wines La Crema is committed to producing.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

PIN478807_2015 Item# 361020