2009 Calera "Ryan" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir
Wine & Spirits
The vines in the upper block of Ryan, rising to 2,500 feet, are just settling in. Jim Ryan, Calera's vineyard manager, planted it in 1998 at a higher density than Calera's other sites, most of which date to 1975. At first, this wine appears to be a big, extracted fruit bomb until, hours later, the tannins begin to breath and the texture broadens, the fruit filling in the tannins on the sides of the mouth... It's formidable and delicious in any case, especially if decanted for roast duck.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard shows off layers of sweet tobacco, crushed flowers, leather, spices and dried cherries. The 100% whole clusters come through on the saline, floral-infused finish. Bottle age should help the stems to integrate and the tannins to soften. Ryan is Calera’s highest altitude site. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. 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
Vivid red. Candied red fruits and flowers on the fragrant nose. Sappy, seamless and gently sweet, offering powerful black raspberry and cherry flavors that become spicier with air. Closes smooth and very long, with resonating anise and raspberry compote flavors and gentle tannins. I found this bottling to be the most approachable of Calera's single-vineyard releases this year.
In its youth, this wine is tightly wound and austere, despite a wealth of ripe cherry fruit. The acidity and tannins wrap it up in a concealing cloak of dry astringency. But it has the inherent balance to age over the next 10 years, gradually softening and mellowing.
Offers a spicy, stemmy edge to the dried cherry and savory underbrush notes. Very tight and in need of cellaring and aeration. Best from 2013 through 2022.
From the winery: "This stately 2009 Ryan vineyard Pinot Noir displays a rich, elegant and distinct bouquet of black currant, blackberry bramble, flinty mineral and dried fennel. This wine is lush but restrained with nice fine-grained tannins, wonderful forest characters, slight anise, a hint of toast and deep berry fruit. Truly Mt Harlan; classic Ryan Vineyard."