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2016 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier (Elsewhere $35)

SKU #1521198 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2016 Viognier aged on the lees for 14 months in 60% neutral oak, 30% concrete vats and 10% stainless steel. It has delicate aromas on the nose: baker's yeast, sliced red pear, fresh apples and notes of hazelnuts, dried hay, saline and honeysuckle coming through with time. Medium-bodied, it has fresh, savory-laced flavors with juicy acidity and a long, textured finish. (EB) Inner quote mark (2/2020)

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By: Andrew Kitz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2021 | Send Email
When a visionary winegrower like Josh Jensen decides to plant Viognier on his property, you have to take it seriously almost by default. This wine is sourced entirely from Calera's estate blocks of a mere 6 acres total, planted in 1983 and 1989. As Viognier goes, the 2016 Mt. Harlan estate bottling is downright beautiful. Stone fruit notes of peach, white plum, and pluot show immediately on the nose suggesting an unctuous style, but these quickly temper and reveal more subtle features like chamomile tea, aloe, jasmine, sweet peas, and a faint touch of butterscotch in the background. The palate is equally complex and thrilling. Viognier can easily tend toward over-ripeness, but Mike Waller and the team at Calera absolutely nailed the balance on this wine. Classic medium-full weight and roundness are buoyed by persistent, perfectly integrated acidity. This well-constructed frame supports a high-toned flavor profile of peach skin, kumquat, and yellow pear. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this wine is the streak of minerality the runs through the long, vibrant finish. Those who are fans of the saline, oyster shell quality found in Chablis will notice a touch of that here, no doubt a result of the pure limestone soils that form the foundation of all Calera's estate vineyards. It's a competitive standout at its regular price point, but at our spectacular Insider's Advantage pricing, this is one of the best white wine deals available in our domestic inventory.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/19/2021 | Send Email
This incredibly complex and fascinating wine comes from two parcels of vines planted in 1983 and 1989. The later portion growing on its own-roots. These 30-40 year old vines grow in the limestone rich soils of Mt Harlan, a place that is just truly unique in California. This wine walks a tightrope between fruitiness and savory flavors, starting with floral aromas of honeysuckle and jasmine; flavors of yellow stone fruits and wildflower honey are contrasted by salty, briny notes, crushed rock minerality and freshly baked bread qualities. A weighty lees derived texture and complex nutty oak quality goes on and on in the finish. A beautiful expression of this fickle grape allowing this powerful terroir speak clearly. A winery direct, deal of the decade, allows us to present this to you at less that 50% of the original SRP. Load up!
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