2014 Calera "de Villiers" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

SKU #1295783 95 points Vinous

 One of the highlights in this range, the 2014 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is absolutely gorgeous. Deep, pliant and exquisitely layered, the 2014 possesses exceptional finesse. The purity of the fruit here is striking. Dark red cherry, plum, violet and lavender are some of the many nuances that flesh out in the glass. The 50% whole clusters are barely perceptible. In 2015, the de Villiers is all finesse. (AG)  (8/2017)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2014 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is young and backward, with lots of black cherries, currants, sappy underbrush and forest floor aromas and flavors. It doesn’t have the seamless texture or opulence found in the Selleck or Ryan, yet has a stacked mid-palate, firm, present tannin, and a great finish. I wouldn’t touch bottles for at least 3-5 years. 94+  (10/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Very dark in the glass, this drought-hammered bottling (from a yield of just two-thirds of a ton per acre!) shows deep and concentrated black plum, black currant and licorice aromas but retains the wild thyme and dark mint character typical of Central Coast Pinot Noir. The palate combines richness with strong acidity, its concentrated black cherry fruit cut with tart plum skin notes. (MK)  (12/2017)

K&L Notes

Winemaker Josh Jensen set out to find limestone. He wanted to create uniquely California wines in the style of great Burgundy crus, and was convinced that limestone was the ticket. He found the site of an old limekiln in the Gavilan Mountains of California, sitting 25 miles from the Pacific Ocean and made his first wine in 1975. He firmly believes in minimal intervention and uses a gravity-flow system to achieve the least invasive, most natural process. Planted in 1997, this special vineyard is named for Marq de Villiers, author of "The Heartbreak Grape," the story of Josh Jensen’s creation of Calera. The drought conditions of 2014 made for low yields and highly concentrated grapes. Tasting notes according to the winemaker: "Intensely wrapped blackberry, briar, caraway and crème de cassis jump from this 2014 de Villiers vineyard Pinot Noir. Beautiful mouth-filling rich dark fruit flavors complement the broad, deep, taut, tart structure. This wine is complex, tight and nervy with a large personality and lots of flavor."

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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.