South-facing, own-rooted, and 30 years old in 2014, here’s an opportunity to experience one of the greatest Pinot Noir Vineyards in the US, and one of the darkest, most structured Pinots of the 2014 vintage! The Wine Advocate noted its incredibly low yields, loving its “sun-kissed bouquet of cassis, pomegranate, plum preserve, spice and vanilla pod, framed by a touch of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied, richly tannic and firm...its almost brutal levels of concentration and extract make it hard to read.”
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!
The 2014 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard offers up a sun-kissed bouquet of cassis, pomegranate, plum preserve, spice and vanilla pod, framed by a touch of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied, richly tannic and firm, with some fine-grained but firm tannins asserting themselves on the finish. Harvested between September 3-18, this was cropped at a tiny yield of 0.54 tons per acre (the historic average for this site is 1.26), and its almost brutal levels of concentration and extract make it hard to read. What's clear is that several years of patience will be necessary.