LaCrema vs. Decoy pinot noir review / shootout

22 06 2014

Today we compare two 2012 pinot noirs from Sonoma County, California:  La Crema Sonoma Coast ($19 at Total Wine and Costco, but usually in the low $20s) and Decoy Sonoma County ($22).

Decoy first impression:  a beautifully sweet aroma, a delicious cherry-rhubarb pie taste, what could go wrong?  LaCrema first impression:  an aroma of alcohol with some tart-fruited complexity, and a taste of tart strawberries… lacking the delicious first impression made by Decoy.

After the initial tastes, it looks like Decoy will take this shootout.

But after being open for 30 minutes, things have changed — Decoy tastes like that pie was over-baked, and the fruit over-ripe.  Taste seems too sweet, with not enough bite to give balance.  LaCrema’s tart acidity is now a saving grace:  it makes this pinot noir endlessly drinkable.  With the Decoy tasting less and less expensive with each passing minute, the LaCrema seems like more and more of a striking value.

The winner, and now a highly recommended Wineguider Best Value:  La Crema 2012 Sonoma Coast pinot noir.

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One response

23 06 2014
paul schulze

It’s a Pinot…. 90% of the time it’s going to paired with a meal; and opened immediately upon pouring, or drank quickly by a “gaggle” of people just having a good time ( at least at this PP). Giant brands like La Crema & KJ are always a crap-shoot IMO. You never know how one bottle will be from the next because the crush comes from all-over the place. I’d stick with the Decoy for now…..but they are headed the same way as well under current ownership.

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