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Flat front label of wine

Calera Mt. Harlan Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • W&S94
  • RP93
  • WE90
14.1% ABV
  • RP95
  • WE92
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WW93
  • RP93
  • WE90
  • RP94
  • RP91
  • RP93
  • W&S94
  • RP90
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This stately 2009 Ryan vineyard Pinot Noir displays a rich, elegant and distinct bouquet of black currant, blackberry bramble, flinty mineral and dried fennel. This wine is lush but restrained with nice fine-grained tannins, wonderful forest characters, slight anise, a hint of toast and deep berry fruit. Truly Mt Harlan; classic Ryan Vineyard.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
The vines in the upper block of Ryan, rising to 2,500 feet, are just settling in. Jim Ryan, Calera's vineyard manager, planted it in 1998 at a higher density than Calera’s other sites, most of which date to 1975. At first, this wine appears to be a big, extracted fruit bomb until, hours later, the tannins begin to breathe and the texture broadens, the fruit filling in the tannins on the sides of the mouth. A day later, the tannins and fruit have merged back into the middle of the wine, focused on dark, mineral intensity, on scents of smoke and earth, carrying plenty of extract within a pinot noir frame. While this may seem like a stylistic departure for Calera, it could also be read as a youthful interpretation of the Mount Harlan site. It's formidable and delicious in any case, especially if decanted for roast duck.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard shows off layers of sweet tobacco, crushed flowers, leather, spices and dried cherries. The 100% whole clusters come through on the saline, floral-infused finish. Bottle age should help the stems to integrate and the tannins to soften. Ryan is Calera's highest altitude site. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
In its youth, this wine is tightly wound and austere, despite a wealth of ripe cherry fruit. The acidity and tannins wrap it up in a concealing cloak of dry astringency. But it has the inherent balance to age over the next 10 years, gradually softening and mellowing.
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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 the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast 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 Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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.

RWC421783_2009 Item# 117218