La Crema's specialty is cool-climate grapes, but these Californians' definition of cool still might melt most Alaskans. Be that as it may, they have a rifle shot of a pinot noir. Check out a bottle of their 2009 Monterey. The nose is redolent of cherry, spice, strawberry, vanilla and toast -- quite lovely. The mouth is rich and full-ish across the palate. Lengthy and darkly fruited, it will benefit from a decanter or the use of an aerator. Overall, it's a well-made effort that delivered far more than expected. Costs about $20.
-- Mike McVittie reviews wines available locally