2010 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier

SKU #1077078 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Viognier Mt. Harlan, from estate-grown fruit, takes things to another level. Mint, white flowers, pears and peaches are some of the notes that emerge from this transparent, weightless wine. There is plenty of richness but no heaviness whatsoever in the glass. A beautifully chiseled finish rounds things out nicely. The Viognier Mt. Harlan was whole-cluster pressed and aged in French oak barrels with no rackings until it was prepared for bottling. This is a fabulous showing from Calera. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.  (8/ 2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light, bright gold. Lively, spice-accented aromas of pear, quince and white flowers, with subtle vanilla and white pepper notes in the background. Sappy and broad but light on its feet, projecting dense, incisive orchard fruit flavors and an exotic hint of papaya. The peppery quality comes back on the nervy, tightly focused, impressively persistent finish. I like the blend of richness and energy here.  (11/ 2011)

K&L Notes

Calera's Mt. Harlan estate Viognier vineyards have the right combination of situation, terroir and microclimate for coaxing aromatic nuance and depth of flavor from this fickle varietal. Limestone soils (unique for California), elevation (2,200 feet above sea level), and a southfacing aspect combine with proximity to Monterey Bay and its cooling ocean breezes to make a perfect storm of ideal Viognier growing conditions. This is not only one of the highest and coolest vineyards in California, but a source for some of the most exciting Viognier produced here. Quoting Wine Advocate's Antonia Gallioni, "[The] five 2010 whites from Calera are superb. The entry-level bottlings offer tremendous value, while the higher-end selections are every bit as compelling in their respective categories. These fabulous, unique wines are well worth seeking out." (08/12) Winemaker's Notes: "Stone fruit, jasmine and slate waft from this gorgeous 2010 Mt. Harlan Viognier. Silky and smooth, it boasts beautiful, bright, layered flavors of Asian pear and gooseberry with a soft tartness and creamy, pear accented finish."

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By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 12/16/2011  | Send Email
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Consistently one of my favorite Viogniers (even white wines) in CA. The wine has some many things going for it. Great floral aromatics with ripe peach or apricot on the nose. The texture in the mouth is full but without the oily heaviness that some manifestations of this grape suffer from. Ageing in neutral oak and some stainless kegs on lees has given this wine a great roundness to match it's full intensity of flavor. The uniqueness of the site shines through on the finish with a lingering minerality from the areas remarkable limestone content.

By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 10/5/2011  | Send Email
Based on the response from our last domestic staff tasting in RWC, the '10 Calera Mt. Harlan is a wine that Viognier lovers will love, and Viognier critics will respect for being a darn good example of the varietal. It exceeds expectations, opening with classic apricot and floral aromatics leading to a broad, viscous palate, after which it finishes with startling vibrancy and mineral nerve. Calera's tiny plot of Viognier vines, located on the south-facing limestone soils of its Mount Harlan Estate, which contains some of the first Viognier vines planted in California, produces low yeilds of extremely high quality fruit.

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Varietal:

Viognier

- Relatively challenging to cultivate, this white grape's plantings were long limited to two appellations in the Northern Rhône - Condrieu, the better known of the two, and Château-Grillet - but its recent gains in popularity inspired plantings in the Languedoc-Roussillon, across California, as well as in parts of Australia, Italy, Spain and South America. Intensely aromatic and full-bodied, Viognier is prized for its aromas and flavors of stone fruits, d'Anjou pears and white flowers. In fact, its heady perfume wins it the honor of being a rare white varietal used in one of the world's top reds - Côte-Rôtie - where it is often planted amid the Syrah and co-fermented with that grape. The combination deepens the color of Côte-Rôtie and adds to its already deep and distinctive nose.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.6