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Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • V93
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Winemaker Notes

This beautiful Chardonnay is just a baby with a long, full life ahead, yet is captivating now with its bouquet of pippin apple, Meyer lemon, mandarin and vanilla cream. It glides across your palate with sensual softness, lively tartness and firm structure all at once. The spice and minerality underscore a hint of light caramel and white peach custard, then trail off slowly and gracefully.

Critical Acclaim

V 93
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

The 2011 Chardonnay Mt. Harlan bursts from the glass with expressive apricots, peaches, crushed rocks, French oak and spices. Rich yet weightless, the 2011 is striking from the very first taste. Once again, Calera’s Mt. Harlan Chardonnay is world-class.
Rating: 93+

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Calera

Calera

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Calera, , California
Calera
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.

Barbaresco

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Often compared to Barolo but worthy of its own separate conversation...

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Often compared to Barolo but worthy of its own separate conversation, Barbaresco is home to the softer side of Nebbiolo. For a long time, consumers viewed Barbaresco as a more affordable alternative to the wines of neighboring Barolo, but advances in viticulture and resulting improvements in quality have allowed this region to build a superior reputation all its own. With a warmer, drier, and milder climate and compact, fertile soils, the wines here are powerful yet soft, fruit-forward, and elegantly perfumed. Barbaresco needs some time to mature before being ready to drink, but less so than Barolo, and the typical bottle is best enjoyed between five and 15 years from the harvest.

Barbaresco wines are highly aromatic and complexly flavored, with notes of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, and spice. Bottle aging can add more savory characteristics of iron and tar, as well as dried orange peel. The modern style of Barbaresco relies on new oak to add flavor and soften the texture for early drinking, while more traditional versions aim to highlight the purity of the Nebbiolo grape by using large, neutral oak vessels.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most cerebral and age-worthy wines in the world...

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

CHMCLR1201111_2011 Item# 120014

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