Happy New Year to you!  I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends.  New Year’s Eve is one of my favourite nights of the year.  I love what it means and what a new year can bring.  2012 was a big year for me full of personal changes and dedication and enrolment at the Wine College for my WSET education.  I made the choice to stay at home with our daughter and that has been a true gift and a big shift for me personally.  This blog brings me an incredible amount of joy and it brings me closer to who I am and want to be.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Now, for the good stuff…
I really enjoyed focusing on the sparkling wine category for the weeks leading up to NYE.  So, I have decided that, going forward, I am going to choose a grape varietal and focus on it for a month and move around the world reviewing how the grape is expressed in different countries and climates.  My grape of choice to start off the New Year is none other than the temperamental and moody Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir’s classic home is the Burgundy region of France.  It is here that the cool climate really delivers complex and noteworthy Pinot Noir wines.  The Côte d’Or is ‘the’ celebrated area within Burgundy that produces what many call the best wines in the world.

My review this week is on La Crema’s Sonoma Coast 2009 Pinot Noir.  Typically, you don’t consider California to be an ideal location for this cool weather loving grape.  However, the Russian River that runs throughout Sonoma Valley along with the cool Pacific coastal breezes makes for an ideal environment for this delightful Pinot Noir.  La Crema winery has been in business for over 30 years and has a brilliant Canadian female Winemaker, Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, at the helm.

La Crema’s Pinot Noir was a gorgeous ruby colour – I was surprised at how ‘pretty’ the wine looked in the glass.  This wine had medium + intensity on the nose. I smelled red cherry, red plum, raspberry, vanilla, a hint of chocolate along with rose petals. This wine tasted like velvet in a glass – the fruit, sweet spices and chocolate were all tasted on the palate.  This Pinot Noir is aged for 6.5 months in French Oak barrels which gives this lovely wine is smooth and rich texture. What was the wonderful surprise to this beauty was how beautifully balanced this Pinot Noir was.  It was high in acidity but was balanced perfectly with strong tannins which made for a complex, plush, yummy glass of wine!

I purchased this bottle at the B.C. Liquor Stores for $29.99.  I found it at Everything Wine for $28.99.  This is a bottle to keep aside for a beautiful dinner with your loved one.  It is a very good ‘Hell Yes’ full bodied Pinot Noir that is PERFECT for a cold, rainy evening.

Here’s to 2013!