The Wine Idiot Reviews: La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2013 ($12.99)
Ah...La Crema. The "classic" chardonnay. I have to admit--many years ago, when I knew NOTHING about wine, a guy I was dating asked me to bring a bottle of white to a dinner he was making. Panicked, I texted my friend Vanessa (who had hosted wine-tasting parties in the past and therefore qualified as my "wine friend") and asked for a recommendation that would make me look good. She suggested La Crema Chardonnay.
When I got to the dinner, the guy proclaimed, "Oh! I don't usually like white wine but this is good!" Another guest chimed in and said, "oh yeah, that's good stuff, the catering company I work for serves that sometimes!" Inwardly, I heaved a sigh of relief and made a mental note to thank Vanessa. Outwardly, I just smiled.
This is a very popular bottle of wine and can be found in pretty much any supermarket, big-box store that carries alcohol, BevMo, or liquor store--but you'll be paying around $20. At trusty TJ's, however?
It'll set you back a paltry $12.99. Thank you, Trader Joe!!
So how is it? Great--if you like chardonnay. And I'm getting there. Still not my favorite? But I can finally appreciate it.
Toasty-ness and buttery-ness are the major hallmarks of this wine, followed by just a touch of fruity-ness that sparkles out. It has a nice finish, neither particularly long or short in my opinion. If you (like me a year ago) do not like chardonnay, you're not gonna be crazy about it. It's rich, probably what I would have once called "cloying." However, it's fruity enough to be drinkable for sweet-wine-drinkers, but "oaky" enough to please red-preferrers. Bottom line--it's a quality white wine with mass appeal that's worth the price.
And in my tasting notes, I wrote this: "It is a windy 70° evening in Pasadena and this is heaven."
What the bottle says: "Cool climate vineyards. Artisan Winemaking. Exquisite Chardonnay."
What the Wine Idiot says: LOL am I the only one who heard Mila Kunis's voice from that Jim Beam commercial narrating that copy?? Well, there's nothing to agree/disagree with here. Exquisite? Sure, why not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
ABV: 13.5%, which must by why this is a popular choice to serve at weddings!
Who's responsible for this? "Vinted and bottled by La Crema, Santa Rosa, CA"
Do I need a corkscrew? Obviously. THIS IS EXQUISITE WINE, REMEMBER?
What do smarter people say about it? Well I really thought I'd actually get "official" reviews on this one, but apparently they all want me to pay for access to their reviews. Screw that. So, WineAccess says Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave it 92 points, and I'm willing to trust that. However, I stumbled across this interesting site called Winderlusting which provides an incredibly lengthy (and INFORMATIVE) review that I highly encourage you check out in full, but here's part: "In the glass, this Chardonnay maintains a richly golden-straw colored hue. The nose is stacked with chunky orange citrus, pineapple and vanilla with undertones of white peach and oak. The opening palate is similar, and oak is pleasantly present. Bits of citrus and tree fruit — along the lines of ripe pear, apricot, orange peel and melon back mineral flavors and oaky undertones. The mid-palate brings about an elegant and buttery feel, with no shortage of acidity and fairly concentrated flavors. This indicates both a lengthy growing season and obvious oak aging in this Chardonnay (95% of grapes utilized for the 2013 vintage were aged in French oak, with the remainder in stainless-steel). Throughout the mid-palate and approaching the finish, some chalky minerals, pear, vanilla-thyme and smokey vanilla almond milkshake dance over a medium-length finish." Seriously, go read the whole article here, because you'll learn quite a lot about chardonnay.
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Yep! You could, in fact, even bring it to a romantic-interest's house! Honestly, I would bring this if you're trying to impress, but if you've just been tasked with bringing a tasty chardonnay to a friend and you wanna save $7, bring this Pacific Grove Chardonnay!