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Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

  • TP96
  • WW95
  • WE94
750ML / 14.1% ABV
Other Vintages
  • W&S93
  • WE92
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • RP94
  • RP96
  • WW94
  • RP93
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vintage after vintage, de Villiers yields one of Calera’s most voluptuous and dark-fruited expressions of Pinot Noir, and the 2015 vintage is no exception! Aromas of brambly blackberry, cocoa and chamomile hint at this wine’s explosive depth. On the palate, a lush, mouth-filling texture and age-worthy tannins frame gorgeous layers of black cherry and silky red currant that resonate on the long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 96
Tasting Panel
From the remote Gabilan Mountains on California’s Central Coast, this high-elevation Pinot Noir from approximately 2,200 feet above sea level features some of the oldest vines in the region. Calera is one of the only wineries in the world to “own” its entire appellation, similar to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy, where Calera founder Josh Jensen worked in the early 1970s before launching Calera in 1975. This curvy, dark-fruited wine opens with earth and bramble, while black raspberry and root beer get perked up by white pepper and blackberry-laden cedar. It’s hefty, but dreamy.
WW 95
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: I have limited experience with the Calera's de Villiers Pinot Noir bottling. I found this wine quite attractive and almost different. Perhaps it is an even more Burgundy-like effort than the winery's usual. Well, Josh Jensen is a unique and iconoclastic vintner. The 2015 Calera de Villiers is in a class by itself. TASTING NOTES: This wine is beautifully balanced in every way. Its aromas and flavors are bright, zesty, and true. Pair its red fruit goodness with a simple roast chicken. (Tasted: September 10, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Deep and meaty on the nose, this 40th anniversary bottling offers black plum, dried violet and roasted meat aromas. Mulberry, strawberry and plum flavors show on the wild palate, which is lifted by elements of pine needle, dried sage and mint.
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Calera

Calera

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Calera, California
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Calera is a small ultra-premium winery located in the limestone-rich Gavilan Mountains, east of Monterey and south of Hollister, California. Josh Jensen planted Calera's first 23 acres of Pinot Noir in 1975. An additional 26.6 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier were planted in the 1980s, and 33 more acres, mostly Pinot Noir but also some additional Chardonnay, in 1997 and 1998. All these parces are in the Mt. Harlan AVA that was created in 1990. Calera produces 8 single-vineyard wines from Mt. Harlan, as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from grapes purchased from selected vineyards in the Central Coast regions.
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At elevations reaching well over 2,000 feet, the Mt. Harlan AVA in the Gabilan Range is an anomaly among its surrounding Central Coast appellations. Recognizing the splendor of the area and its ideal limestone-rich soils, Josh Jensen chose Mt. Harlan as the home of his Calera Wine Company in the 1970s. Awarded his own AVA in 1990, Calera is the only commercial winery in the appellation.

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

PSLCCL227_2015 Item# 434694

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