Calera's de Villiers vineyard was planted in 1997, and abuts the Mills Vineyard on Mt. Harlan. De Villiers is notable because this is typically the only Calera Pinot that is made with de-stemmed fruit. It results in a (slightly) more open knit style in its youth. The Wine Advocate describes “a gorgeous wine that excels both for its complexity and for its richness and breadth on the palate. Giving up notes of ripe cherries, wild strawberries, exotic flowers, citron and spice, it has medium to full-bodied richness, a core of sweet fruit and a rich, seamless texture.” What a treat, just entering its plateau of maturity!
There is cult Pinot Noir, and then there is Calera. Rather than following the herd towards various spots along the Sonoma Coast, Josh Jensen decided to follow the lines going south in search of finding the perfect spot on the planet to grow grapes. Taking his cue from the great vineyards in Burgundy rich in limestone, he searched tirelessly to find land that would allow him to produce wines unique to the world, yet with respect and homage to the place where it all began. And while most of the cult Pinots from coastal northern California have waiting lists a mile long and charge some serious coin to get you admission, Calera is a true diamond in the rough, coming in at under $50!His journey off-the-grid took him to the site of an old limekiln in the Gavilan Mountains, Mount Harlan to be exact. Located 25 miles east of Monterey as the crow flies, this monolith of chalky goodness seemed like the perfect home for making world-class Pinot Noir. It took some serious stones to take the gamble, but Jensen was a pioneer in the industry, and knew he had to blaze his own trail in order to accomplish his goals. The results are extraordinary, as year after year, the Calera portfolio continues to churn out some of the most sought after wines the world has ever seen. Robert Parker agrees, stating, "Calera is one of the most compelling Pinot Noir specialists of not only the New World, but Planet Earth." Boom!
First up and seriously perfumed, the 2011 Pinot Noir de Villiers is a gorgeous wine that excels both for its complexity and for its richness and breath on the palate. Giving up notes of ripe cherries, wild strawberries, exotic flowers, citron and spice, it has medium to full-bodied richness, a core of sweet fruit and a rich, seamless texture. In fact, it has a rare level of depth and texture in the vintage, and while beautiful today, I imagine it will evolve gracefully