Melissa Stackhouse, a fantastically talented Pinot and Chardonnay winemaker, was recently promoted at Kendall Jackson (who owns La Crema Winery) to Pinot Noir Winemaster for all of Jackson Family Wines. I’m not surprised since her gorgeous creations continue to over deliver for the price. I’ll be watching to see if they remain as good without her daily oversight.
But she made this light-bodied 2009 Monterey Pinot Noir that has refreshing, food-friendly acidity with ripe plum, candied cherry, slightly earthy green tea, some oaky tannins and raspberry on the finish. Lovely, lively, elegant. Almost perfect. Hopefully I won’t miss you Melissa.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Occasion: Sample sent from the winery.
Availability: Big box retailers, restaurants, some high end independent retail (find where to buy it)
Food pairing: Meatballs in mushroom cream sauce, earthy sheep’s milk cheeses
On the other end, the 2009 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($22) unfortunately missed the mark. Too perfumey, and cloyingly sweet with little Chardonnay characteristics. Laying off the oak and residual sugar would help this wine a lot.