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Calera Mt. Harlan de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ml half-bottle) 2012

Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
  • RP95
  • WS91
14.8% ABV
  • TP96
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  • WE94
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  • WE92
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2012 de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir is intense and captivating. A rich bouquet of blackberry, blueberry, briar, baking spices and slate nicely balance dark, dense, lush flavors of raspberry, sandalwood, chaparral and a fascinating tiny hint of capsicum. The texture is juicy and savory with tension and a bit of smokiness. Accents of sarsaparilla, red licorice and herbs make this a wonderful barbeque wine; and one that will age for a very long time.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I loved the 2012 Pinot Noir de Villiers. It's a beautifully complete, balanced and satisfying Pinot Noir that does everything right. Giving up tons of sweet black raspberry and strawberry fruits, spice-box, dried flowers and potpourri characteristics, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, with a ripe, supple texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. While there's more than enough fruit to keep this enjoyable now, there's some solid tannin and depth in there as well, so it will age.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Aromas of ripe dark berry, limestone, underbrush and gravel make for a compelling drink that’s not shy about tannins, providing grip midpalate and holding on tenaciously. Best from 2016 through 2024.
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Calera

Calera

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Calera, Mt. Harlan, 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.

Mt. Harlan

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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.

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.

PSLCCL190_2012 Item# 167535