Planted in 1984 at 2,200 feet in elevation, this vineyard consistently yields gloriously fragrant Pinot Noir driven by ripe, red-berry aromas with ample spice nuances. Pomegranate and marmalade meet wild mushrooms and fresh-cracked black pepper in a juicy, complex wine. As Jeb Dunnuck sums it up, “With medium to full body, beautiful depth of fruit, and a seamless texture, it’s another stunning Pinot Noir from this team that I’d be happy to have in the cellar.”
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 2017 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard is slightly deeper colored (it's still translucent) and offers a gorgeous nose of ripe redcurrants, cherries, spring flowers, sappy forest floor, and ample spice nuances. With medium to full body, beautiful depth of fruit, and a seamless texture, it's another stunning Pinot Noir from this team that I'd be happy to have in the cellar.