2013 Calera "de Villiers" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

SKU #1240519 95 points Vinous

 The 2013 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is intense, pure and brilliant. Dark red cherry, blood orange, lavender, mint, star anise and wild flowers give the de Villiers an exotic edge in this vintage. Plush and deep on the palate, the 2013 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Sweet floral and red-fleshed fruits add freshness on the finish. Today, the De Villiers is sublime, but it also needs time to fully come together. One of the things that separates world-class wineries from the merely excellent is consistency across the entire range. That is exactly what readers will find at Calera. I can't think of any of these wines I would not want to drink any day of the week. Simply put, Josh Jensen and his team at Calera have done a remarkable job with these new releases... The single-vineyard Pinots all show the intensity and stress of severe drought year. Calera's Mt. Harlan vineyard is a unique site that is rugged and remote, yet somehow manages to produce distinctive, pedigreed wines even under difficult conditions. Simply put, readers won't go wrong with any of these wines. I can't recommend Calera's new releases highly enough. (AG)  (7/2016)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Pinot Noir de Villiers is gorgeous. Coming from an east-facing parcel of vines planted in 1997 and aged 19 months in 30% new French oak, it has a terrific core of black cherries, flowers, menthol, toasted spice and licorice that opens up beautifully with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, layered, supple and sexy, yet with plenty of elegance, ripe tannin and a big mid-palate, it can be drunk today with plenty of pleasure or cellared for a decade. Pulling from his estate vineyards located east of Monterey, in San Benito County and the Mount Harlan AVA, winemaker Josh Jenson can seemingly do no wrong. He produces beautiful whites and reds that are singular and packed with flavor. All of his 2013s are classic wines. (JD)  (8/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Rich earthy tones of iron and sagebrush meet with a touch of barnyard, roasted meats, dark cranberry fruit and a touch of sarsaparilla on the nose of this Josh Jensen bottling. More iron, wet clay, turned loam and slate minerality show on the palate, where black pepper, cooked black cherries, pomegranate and cranberry round out the still quite tannic sip.  (7/2016)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Builds richness, depth and intensity, with cherry, blackberry and plum notes amid chalky accents. Flexes some tannic muscle on the finish, where the flavors gain depth and persistence. Drink now through 2023. 993 cases made.  (9/2016)

K&L Notes

Although the 2013s aren't scored yet, pervious vintages of this wine have consistently scored in the mid-90s from The Wine Advocate. Planted in 1997, the vineyard is named for Marq de Villiers, author of "The Heartbreak Grape," the story of Josh Jensen’s creation of Calera. According to the winery: "Showy and forward with chewy and juicy fruit character, and a rich, lush round mouthfeel."

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By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
This particular bottling from Calera requires a bit of air time to soften up but is the most accessible vineyard-designated Pinot Noir of theirs right now (it will, however, only get better with a few more years of bottle age). Planted in '97, the De Villiers vineyard is Calera's youngest estate site. This bottling sees roughly 30% new oak and is aged in barrel without racking for 16 months. A top-quality wine from one of America's most respected producers.

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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.

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.


- 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.