La Crema, Pinot Noir, Monterey, CA, 2017 is deep ruby red in the glass. Amazing aromas of dried red cherries, Sicilian blood orange, wet slate and hints of oak. Secondary aromas of wild flowers, earthy herbs keep the nose busy with a rush of sensation. The rich palate shows off an amazing show of berries, but they are tamed as the citrusy blood orange keeps them in check in a very pleasant way. The herbs and minerals are very pronounced on the mid palate with a nice snap of acidity to round out the palate. The mouthful is full and tannins a light but flow nicely through the palate.
Monterey has a cooler climate and La Crema head winemaker Craig McAllister uses these conditions to his advantage. The La Crema, Pinot Noir, Monterey sets itself apart from the field by making a true Pinot Noir that many try to create, but never quite succeed. Instead of the typical bland fruit bomb that many California wines turn out to be, the La Crema, Pinot Noir, Monterey has the fruit in check and well balanced with mineral and acidity making it multi-dimensional and makes you think a little bit about the experience of drinking it.
Peruvian style roasted chicken was the meal paired with the La Crema, Pinot Noir, Monterey. Slightly spicy from native chili aji panca from Peru with plenty of herbs and an 18-hour marinated chicken was nicely paired with the wine. There was enough fruit up front to work with the slight heat from the chili. The mineral and herbal flavors worked with the herbs and smoked paprika that was part of the marinade. I wouldn’t hesitate to pair this wine with Parmesan and herb roasted salmon or pork loin with dried fruits.
With warm days arriving to take advantage of the deck, make sure to have plenty of La Crema, Pinot Noir, Monterey to sip while enjoying a meal surrounded by nature.