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A cool California chardonnay

La Crema is a better known Sonoma winery with a focus on "cool climate" wines like chardonnay and an also-excellent pinot noir. Maybe something to do with their winemaker, who has been on staff for about 15 years, and head winemaker since 2010: not only was Elizabeth Grant-Douglas born and raised in Niagara, she attended Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). She also worked at several Niagara wineries, including Inniskillin and Chateau des Charmes. It's safe to say she brings the cool to Sonoma Coast, which is actually quite warm, but which benefits from cool nights and morning fog off the ocean that keeps temperatures lower.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Vintages 962886 | $29.95

Richly honeyed nose with butterscotch notes and a touch of lemon. Good crisp acidity on the palate, which has more butterscotch and hints of melon and maybe some stone fruit too. Nice use of oak here and there's a slightly smoky finish. Full, but very elegant at the same time. Ideal for a summer special occasion, and well worth it.

In the Vintages August 20 release.


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