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Calera Mt. Harlan de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • RP93
  • WS90
14.9% ABV
  • TP96
  • WW95
  • WE94
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  • V95
  • RP94
  • WE92
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  • V91
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Lush beautiful aromas of boysenberry, cedar, violets, tobacco and graphite lure you into a fascinating display of brooding flavors. Savory smoked duck, shiitakes, orange peel and gingerbread give tension to accents of forest floor, plum, blackberry and flint with a savory, mouthwatering texture. This wine is tart, full, deep, fleshy; full of wonder and pleasure.

All of our Mt. Harlan vineyards are certified organic.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Tight, with a gritty, earthy edge to the firm strawberry, dark berry, violet, spice and cedar notes, gaining depth and ending with a persistent finish. Should gain with age. Drink now through 2022.
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Calera

Calera

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Calera, Central Coast, 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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Pinot Noir

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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).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and 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 Secret

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. 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 Villages or Cru level wines.

DWCCL11DVPN_2011 Item# 129023