If there’s one thing you can count on in this world, it’s that a by the glass wine list will have something from La Crema available. The California giant is known for producing good wine at a good price, but in this tasting of three new bottlings, you might be surprised to discover some of these wines are far more elevated than you might have previously thought. Let’s dig in.
NV La Crema Brut Rose Russian River Valley – Surprisingly refreshing and full of flavor, this sparkler offers a core of strawberry that winds its way toward raspberry and notes of orange blossom water, adding more fruit-driven complexity than initially expected. Plenty of saline and minerality here keeps the wine from becoming too fruity or too sweet, the finish seeing just a touch of doughy yeastiness paired with a lively tropical, guava-adjacent note. Delightful and versatile. A- / $45
2021 La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Creamy and laden with vanilla and gentle lemon curd notes, this is as classic as California chardonnay gets. Notes of toasty oak, coconut, and a hint of sesame make for an iconic experience on the palate, never short of rich and enveloping. A slight acidity on the finish, driven mainly by a reprise of lemon peel, keeps the experience from becoming overly weighty or doughy. Color me shocked. A- / $23 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
2021 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Again a perfectly approachable wine, offering a bright note of cherry and raspberry, albeit touched with a bit of slightly sweet strawberry notes. Gentle acidity keeps the experience lively and breezy: This may hail from the Sonoma Coast, but it’s nothing like the brooding, earthy pinots that region tends to produce, though a gently grassy quality on the finish adds a hint of terroir. Easy and, again, crowd-pleasingly versatile. A- / $28 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]