2007 La Crema Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast.
I promised, didn't I? To drink more New World wines? Well, here we go...a Californian chardonnay, of all things! I was expecting a big wine, of course, but with considerable cool climate characteristics. I can't say I was disappointed.
Light yellow colour. Intense nose, lots of oaky spiciness. The oak used in this wine isn't that dramatic, but how come the bouquet reflects so much wood? Richness from aging on the lees as well - reminds me a lot of the chardonnays we tasted at Lailey from barrel. Ripe fruit evident on the bouquet, but too much oak for me.
The palate is quite restrained, in fact. Some creaminess, good varietal characters. Sweet citrus notes, just a hint of minerality - I had to keep in mind that I was drinking this wine at a very, very young stage. Surprisingly balanced though. Adequate acidity. Although not quite at the level of a Chablis, for example, or a true cool climate chardonnay, the acid levels are present enough to bring the wine to focus. Slight bitterness at the finish, although it gives the wine some character. It's listed at 13.9% alcohol, but it's all contained nicely within the wine.
I enjoyed this wine. Certainly a drinkable wine, but not an intellectual one. It's simple, it's technically correct, but to me, it just lacks substance. Is this the problem with New World wines? It's so cleanly made, it seems stripped of any individual characteristics. A pretty girl who's entire charm stems from her looks, and nothing else.
For $30, I expect more.