Next year marks the 40th anniversary of this Jackson Family Wines brand, originally named La Crema Vinera – which translates to “best of the vine.” Craig McAllister has taken over the Willamette Valley winemaking for Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, and his approach seems to be akin to “don’t mess with success.” The barrel program of nine months in 100% French oak, 25% new, remains a constant, and there’s a focus on two estate vineyards – Gran Moraine in the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area and Zena Crown in the Eola-Amity Hills. Those sites allowed Grant-Douglas and McAllister, who took over in 2015, to increase production by nearly 23 percent from the prior vintage. The collaboration has created aromas of Montmorency cherry, dark blueberry and pink strawberry. Flavors are filled with bright red fruit, led by boysenberry, and include anise and lime zest. Suggested pairings range from pepper-crusted prime rib, rosemary rack of lamb, sautéed salmon, lentil soup with tarragon, curried mussels and Chicken Masala.
Production: 30,086 cases
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