2009 Calera "Mills Vineyard" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A deceptively medium-bodied wine, the 2009 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard possesses stunning balance of fruit, acidity and structure, along with superb integration of the whole clusters. There is a mid-palate pliancy and richness to the 2009 that is simply breathtaking. The Mills is all about elegance. Hints of pine, menthol and chalk linger in the empty glass. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. Readers who want to experience the finest Pinot Noirs being made in California should put Calera at or near the top of their lists. The 2009s are simply breathtaking in their beauty. I am not sure why I was so blown away by the estate’s 2009s, as the entry-level 2009 Central Coast Pinot I reviewed last year provided more than enough clues as to the quality of the rest of the lineup. Based on that wine, I should have known what to expect. Congratulations to proprietor Josh Jensen and his entire team on these magnificent, utterly compelling wines. Organic farming, native fermentations and minimal racking are some of the choices that inform the Calera wines.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright red. A highly perfumed array of red fruit scents are complicated by candied rose, underbrush and incense. Fleshy and penetrating, with vivid raspberry and bitter cherry flavors lifted by zesty minerality. No excess fat here. Finishes on a bright, incisive note of redcurrant, with excellent clarity and persistence.
Situated in the Gavilan Mountains just twenty five miles east of the Monterey Bay, at an average elevation of 2,200 feet above sea level, Calera's Mt. Harlan "Mills Vineyard" is in among the highest and coolest sites in California. Calera farms these limestone soils organically, ferments using native yeasts with minimal racking, and bottles unfiltered to produce an intense, structured Pinot Noir with a real sense of place. Winemaker's notes: "Enticing aromas of rose petals, gardenia, bright cherry and sandalwood waft from this 2009 Mills Pinot Noir with its stunning ruby and garnet hue. Racy flavors of cassis, chocolate, rhubarb and cranberry add a cheerful lift to the zesty, deep, dark black plum, cigar and leather accents. Broad fruit strokes with mineral underpinnings linger delightfully."