2006 La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay - Revisited

Everything it should be, nothing it shouldn't. Still?

Back when it was originally released a couple of years ago, we tasted the 2006 La Crema Chardonnay. We liked it. Really liked it. So when we recently saw a stash of it at a local retailer, we decided to revisit it to see if we're still as excited about it now as we were then.

When it was first released our impressions were that it was a classic California Chardonnay. And when we think of classic California Chard, we think plenty of fruit body, buttery, creamy, oaked, balanced with light spice notes and a lingering taste.

Elements of this model have been exaggerated over the past two decades, flooding the market with homogenized wines of no particular character and in the process feeding a minor revolution. So, in certain circles, Chardonnay gets a bad rap.

But let's be clear, there is nothing quite like a good California Chardonnay anywhere else in the world. And La Crema has become fairly consistent in its production of this wine.

On revisiting this wine, the 06 seems to have lost its magic, its umph, and there are a number of potential reasons for that. But it ain't what it used to be. Still, overall it's holding up nicely. A week after opening, it still drank well from the fridge.

With fame comes fortune.
On release we originally paid $13.99 on sale for the 2006. However, the price we paid recently (which is the going price for the current 2008 vintage) was $21.99 - and that was on sale. In fairness we've seen it on sale in other markets for sale between $16.99 and $23.99. Regardless, this is a substintial jump in just a couple of years. One might even say it's an audacious jump during these economic times. But, hey, if they can get it, good for them.

We hope to review the 2007 and/or 2008 here in the coming weeks, so this review shouldn't cast a shadow over those vintages. But our ranking of this retropective speaks for itself.

Rating: Very drinkable, enjoyable even, but won't be buying more at this price.

In response to this review, Kelly Keagy, Senior Public Relations Manager at Jackson Family Wines sent us this note:

It's hard to comment on your findings without knowing how the wine has been stored over the last couple of years. The 2006 is only two vintages behind current release and should still be showing quite well. We would love to hear your opinions on the 2008 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Have you tried any of our other Chards? We have two new Chards in our line-up - The 2007 Monterey Chardonnay and the 2007 Los Carneros Chardonnay (which was Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse's favorites from that vintage).

Thanks for the email and for your support. Let me know if you ever have any questions about the wines. Always happy to assist.


Kelly Keagy

Can't disagree with you at all, Kelly. Who knows how the wine was shipped, stored, or treated otherwise in the time since it left your bottling facility. But it's representative of what the average consumer might likely encounter on the shelves of their local retailer.