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Wine Guide > Calera Wine Company Link to this page
Calera Wine Company
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Josh Jensen's winemaker mentors in Burgundy were adamant that pinot noir and chardonnay must be grown in limestone-rich soils, as present in the Côtes d’Or, to make great wines. Upon his return from France in 1971 he spent two years searching throughout California to find limestone before finally purchasing, in early 1974, a high-elevation parcel with a limestone deposit of several million tons. Located 90 miles south of San Francisco and about 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, it is near Mt. Harlan in San Benito County. Its elevation is 2,200 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest and coldest vineyard properties in California.

Limestone had been commercially quarried from Jensen’s Mt. Harlan property a hundred years earlier, and to this day, next to his Viognier vineyard, there stands a magnificently well-preserved 30- foot tall masonry limekiln. The name “Calera” is the Spanish world for “limekiln,” which serves as the winery’s symbol and appears on every bottle of wine.
Hollister, CA
Phone: (831) 637-9170
Website: http://www.calerawine.com
Appellation: Mt. Harlan
Tasting Room: Open daily from 11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Map to Calera Wine Company
Chardonnay
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1995 Chardonnay
Mt. Harlan

Wine Spectator reviewed this wine in 1998 as follows: "Smooth, ripe, rich and concentrated, with a focused core of spicy pear, hazelnut, fig, melon and light toasty oak. Complex an ... mored inviting, finishing with a spicy flavor and fine length. 90 points." Laurie Daniel, writing just two months ago (Sept. 7, 2005) in the San Jose Mercury-News, wrote: "They also poured a 1995 Mt. Harlan Chardonnay to let me see how the wine ages. It was rich, fleshy and still vibrant."

$49.00  
more about Dessert Viogner
Viognier
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2006 Dessert Viogner
Mt. Harlan

This golden-yellow dessert wine has an incredibly perfumed aroma, reminiscent of sun ripened peaches and sweet pineapple, with floral notes of honeysuckle and citrus blossoms. It i ... mores velvety smooth with excellent balance, good acidity and just the right level of sweetness.

$30.00  
Viognier
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2006 Viogner
Mt. Harlan

The 2006 Viognier displays excellent varietal aromatics; distinctive notes of ripe summer peaches are enhanced by the subtle scent of white flowers. Ripe fruit flavors of peach and ... more pear are nicely counter-balanced with an intriguing spiciness and the trademark minerality of the Mt. Harlan appellation. This is a luscious wine with big structure and wonderful balance.

$28.00  
Chardonnay
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2006 Chardonnay Le Petit
Mt. Harlan

We made this wine from a second, younger block of Chardonnay vines, planted in 1998 on steep west-facing slopes situated close to the old, original limestone quarry. The wine made ... morefrom this young vineyard expresses a delightful brightness and supple fruit characters of apple and pear. It exhibits the classic creamy texture and the wonderful mineral character for which our Mt. Harlan Chardonnays have become known.

$20.00  
Chardonnay
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2006 Chardonnay
Mt. Harlan

The 2006 Mt. Harlan Chardonnay has a bit of everything, alluring aromas of apples, mandarin essence and vanilla, along with a very creamy unctuous texture. It shows great balance, ... morewith well-integrated acid, just a touch of restrained oak and an abundance of the minerality typical of Mt. Harlan's limestone soils.

$25.00  
Chardonnay
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2006 Chardonnay
Central Coast

The 2006 Central Coast Chardonnay is wonderfully vibrant. Bright, fresh varietal aromas are accented with notes of citrus, pineapple and exotic tropical fruits. On the palate excel ... morelent structure and balance promote the wine's intriguing combination of ripe fruit flavors, accented with floral notes and a subtle touch of oak.

$16.00  
Cuvee
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2006 Cuvee
Mt. Harlan

Mt. Harlan Cuvée is a barrel selection from our various single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and reflects a fascinating complement of personalities from each. This wine is fresh with delici ... moreous Pinot Noir fruitiness, and appealing aromatic notes of dark cherry, plum and spiced tea. It is a multi-dimensional wine, very approachable, supple and smooth on the palate, while at the same time showing surprising complexity and structure. The wine's excellent balance allows it to be enjoyed young, while its core of fine tannin will allow it to develop gracefully for several years.

$30.00  
Pinot Noir
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2005 Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Mt. Harlan

What a classic Mt. Harlan bouquet of rock and mineral woven nicely with notes of raspberry and blackberry. Flavors of cherry, plum and star anise fill the palate, accented with sof ... moret undertones of oak and a juicy, round, flinty finish. This is the richest and most lush Mills Pinot Noir vintage to date.

$45.00  
more about Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Pinot Noir
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2002 Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Mt. Harlan

The 2002 Mills is a forward and aromatic wine. Notes of ripe strawberries, black plums, black pepper and vanilla are prevalent in both aroma and flavor. As is characteristic of Pin ... moreot Noir from the Mills Vineyard this wine has excellent structure with a core of well defined tannin under its fleshy, velvety texture.

$45.00  
more about Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Pinot Noir
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2001 Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Mt. Harlan

From Wine Spectator of July 31, 2005: "An alluring style that combines ripe, firm black cherry and sour cherry fruit with a mix of spices, giving it a touch of nutmeg and hazelnut. ... more Tannins are firm on the finish, giving it an excellent structure. Drink now through 2011. 91 points." And WineSkinny.com, Aug.- Sept. 2005: "Rich ribbons of flavors include focused black cherry, blackberry, allspice, sweet earth, roasted nuts, and nicely integrated toasty oak. Continues to evolve through the long, lush finish. Ready to drink now and over the next five or six years."

$48.00  
more about Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Pinot Noir
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2000 Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
Mt. Harlan

The great Robert Parker tasted this wine in April, 2003, and described it Nov. 10, 2003 on eRobertParker.com as follows: "Low yields of 1.1 ton of fruit per acre (16.5 hectoliters ... moreof wine per hectare of vineyard) result-ed in a medium ruby-colored Pinot offering a big, sweet nose of straw-berries, cherries, spice box, and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, with moderate tannin, this pure, earthy, concentrated effort needs another 1-2 years of cellaring. It should drink well for 10-15 years. 90+ points." WineSkinny.com on Nov. 22, 2004, described it thusly: "Mocha-scented blueberry and ripe cherry flavors, pick up allspice and a dash of funky earth. Dusty tannins are offset by a nice, bright acidity and lengthy fin-ish. Ready to drink now and over the next five or six years."

$51.00  

Updated on April 18, 2008

CrazyAboutWine recommends contacting Calera Wine Company at http://www.calerawine.com or calling (831) 637-9170 to verify the winery's location.

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