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Calera Mt. Harlan Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
  • RP95
  • WE90
14.9% ABV
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  • WE93
  • RP95
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  • WS92
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Enticing aromas of rose petals, gardenia, bright cherry and sandalwood waft from this 2009 Mills Pinot Noir with its stunning ruby and garnet hue. Racy flavors of cassis, chocolate, rhubarb and cranberry add a cheerful lift to the zesty, deep, dark black plum, cigar and leather accents. Broad fruit strokes with mineral underpinnings linger delightfully.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A deceptively medium-bodied wine, the 2009 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard possesses stunning balance of fruit, acidity and structure, along with superb integration of the whole clusters. There is a mid-palate pliancy and richness to the 2009 that is simply breathtaking. The Mills is all about elegance. Hints of pine, menthol and chalk linger in the empty glass. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This vineyard bottling is very vintage driven. The cool 2009 harvest has made it ripe and tart in cherry pie flavors, but also rather tannic. It's aloof, revealing little of its soul, beyond the primary fruit and oak. Needs time in the cellar. Could really be interesting over the next decade.
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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 difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

DWCCL09MLPN_2009 Item# 306986