2010 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier
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.
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.
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."