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2004 Calera "Jensen Vineyard" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir (1.5L)

SKU #1332597 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This venerable winery, which has thirty years of history (long by California standards), has turned out a bevy of new releases. The dark ruby/purple-tinged, spicy, full-bodied 2004 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard reveals a stunningly complex nose of roasted meat, sweet red and black currants, cherries, earth, and spice. With excellent structure, acidity, and length, it should be another terrific example of this vineyard. Exceptionally long and rich, it should be cellared for 2-3 years and enjoyed over the following 15. (RP)  (8/2007)

92 points Vinous

 A dense, powerful wine, the 2004 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard boasts serious depth and intensity. Sweet tobacco, game, autumn leaves, smoke and licorice hit the palate with a rush of pure texture. The 2004 has more than enough density to drink well for another handful of years, although it will always remain a bit burly. (AG)  (9/2015)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Suave raspberry and cherry aromas are underscored by sexy oak spice and pungent herbs. Round and fleshy, with seductively tactile red and dark berry flavors, gentle acid lift and an exotic anise quality. Impressively fresh and sweet, with a long, spicy finish. (JR)  (11/2007)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Earthiness brackets the high-toned strawberry and engaging cherry flavors of this wine. The tannins are tight, as dark as black mushrooms. This grows increasingly more elegant with air, its complexities needing several years in the cellar to evolve.  (12/2007)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe, with perfumed, floral wild berry and raspberry flavors that start out supple and elegant and then gain weight and richness. There's wonderful fruit complexity, though this is quite tannic. (JL)  (12/2007)

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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.