2009 Calera "Mills Vineyard" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

SKU #1087154 95 points 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.  (8/ 2012)

92 points 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.  (11/ 2012)

K&L Notes

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."

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Price: $59.99

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
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.
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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.