2009 Calera "Selleck" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

SKU #1087794 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another highlight among these new releases, the 2009 Pinot Noir Selleck Vineyard is made in a much more fruit-driven style than some of the other Pinots in this lineup. It boasts stunning depth and richness, but in the classic Calera style that never abandons a sense of structural finesse. Juicy dark berries, hard candy, flowers and herbs wrap around the rich, textured finish. This is yet another dazzling Pinot from Calera. Selleck is a site with a south/southwestern exposure. 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. (AG)  (8/2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Complex, highly perfumed bouquet of red and dark berry preserves, cola, black tea and musky flowers. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. Closes on a spicy note, with excellent clarity and lingering floral notes. (JR)  (11/2012)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 This rocky, south-southwest facing hillside was planted in 1975, where the granitic and limestone soils helped define the Calera style of pinot noir, seemingly light in body with powerful flavors that extend through the wine into a lasting finish. This vintage requires a day or more of air before the depth and ripeness of its fruit become apparent, darkening from red cherry toward blue highlights, long on umami in its savor. The energy in the wine is more like the gentle glow of moonlight than the brightness of the sun. Destined for the cellar, this needs five or six years to begin to show its best.  (6/2012)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 This is compositionally similar to the Ryan but the aromas are not quite so deeply pitched. There is excellent volume to the generous and round flavors that retain a lovely sense of detail as well as wonderfully appealing depth and fine length on the balanced and impressively long finish. This can match the Ryan's persistence but not quite its depth but to be clear, this is still first rate. *Outstanding*  (9/2012)

K&L Notes

Planted in 1975 and situated with a southeastern exposure at 2,200 feet in elevation but still in the direct path of cooling winds from the Pacific, the 4.8-acre Selleck vineyard is composed of rocky soils that feature a mix of decomposed granite and limestone outcroppings. It enjoys a bit more sun exposure than the other sites, yielding wines of deep flavor, intensity, and structural refinement.

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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.


- 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.