2013 Calera "Jensen" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

SKU #1256366 96 points Vinous

 The Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard is one of the most overt and powerful wines in the range. The stress of the drought comes through in a wine with real sense of push and pull tension. Ample, rich and also structured, the Jensen is another wine that needs at least a few more years in bottle. The flavors are especially dark and intense this year, while the huge, resonant finish adds to the wine's considerable appeal. 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)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 A stunning range of black sage, fresh bay leaf, hearty mulberry, exotic cinnamon, raw beef and baking spice converge for a rugged yet pretty nose on this bottling from a vineyard planted in 1975. Elderberry and elderflower show on the sip, as do beet juice, dried ginger, crushed rocks, potting soils and a concentrated potpourri of purple flowers. (MK)  (9/2016)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From an accountant crushing yield of 1.12 tons per acre, the 2013 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard was aged 17 months in 30% new French oak. It offers a beautiful array of sappy flowers, forest floor and darker raspberry and cherry fruits to go with a medium to full-bodied, seamless, silky style on the palate that continues to flesh out and gain richness with time in the glass. Like all of Josh's wines, it's impeccably balanced and has first rate purity of fruit, ripe tannin structure and a great finish. It certainly offers incredible pleasure today, yet will be even better with short term cellaring and will have 15 years of overall longevity. 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)

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 An overtly floral-infused nose exhibits wonderful freshness to the beautifully layered mix of both red and dark pinot fruit, spice, sandalwood and spiced tea scents. There is a sophisticated yet quite serious mouth feel to the intense, tautly muscular and concentrated medium weight flavors that are shaped by dusty and firm but fine tannins on the hugely long finish where the only nit is a hint of warmth. This is very clearly built-to-age and is going to need it. In a word, gorgeous. *Outstanding*  (10/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Dense, with plum, blackberry and blueberry flavors, this firmly tannic version shows a sense of elegance and suppleness. Stylish and revealing new flavor nuances. (JL)  (6/2016)


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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.
Sub-Region:

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.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.