My history with Calera goes back some 35 years when I first visited the new winery and tasted the first wines from the 1978 vintage. Since then I have followed their remarkable progress (to read my latest article based on my August 2015 visit including new and old wines and links to earlier articles click here ). And, as I have said earlier, Calera is on a roll. Owner/Founder Josh Jensen and Winemaker Mike Waller and their team are doing a great job.
The latest Calera releases are from the low yielding drought years of 2014 and 2013 and include wines that I have tasted previously. So please consider this an update. And, if you have not already done so, please also consider this as a reminder to try some Calera wines soon. They are special wines from a special place.
2014 Calera Viognier Central Coast
The production of this wine is 770 cases. It is 100% Viognier with all the grapes coming from the Gimelli vineyard in San Benito County. The wine has a lovely perfume with a faint floral/herbal quality and a tinge of spice and citrus. Light and crisp with delicate floral tinged citrus flavors this Viognier is very pure and very tasty with early appeal – Highly Recommended. $18
2014 Calera Viognier Mt. Harlan
This vintage produced 562 cases from very low yields of 1.3 tons per acre which is about 1/3 less than normal. The wine is 100% Viognier and has a light yellow color with a faint golden hue and a lovely faintly exotic perfume with floral and citrus nuances. This is a balanced and seductive Viognier with great style and beautifully integrated flavors. Very floral with a faint tinge of citrus, there is also an exotic complexity that shows through on the finish – Outstanding. $34
2014 Calera Chardonnay Mt. Harlan
This vintage produced only 378 cases as the yields were very low at 0.54 tons per acre versus a 28 year average yield of nearly 2 tons per acre. This is a Chardonnay that is very expressive of its location with a great combination of nuanced flavors. Light yellow in color with a faint golden hue the wine has a lovely floral perfume with subtle nuances of pineapple and citrus. On the palate it has lovely fruit showing honeyed exotic nuances intermingled with citrus and a faint hint of vanilla. And, this is a Chardonnay that full and rounded, yet with a lushness balanced by a nice underlying crispness. Without question, this is a really lovely California Chardonnay that has its own distinct identity – Outstanding Plus. $40
2013 Calera Pinot Noir Mt. Harlan Mills Vineyard
This vintage produced only 774 cases from 15.4 acres representing a yield of only 0.81 tons per acre versus a 27 year average yield of 1.29 tons per acre. Intensity and balance are in great harmony here. The wine has a deep color and a lovely perfume of plums and spice with exotic floral nuances. While rich and full the wine is also elegant and very harmonious with lots of spice tinged fruit showing a subtle exotic tinge. This is a really delicious and stylistic Pinot Noir that has a long life ahead – Outstanding Plus. $62
2013 Calera Pinot Noir Mt. Harlan Selleck Vineyard
This vintage produced only 317 cases with a yield of 0.93 tons per acre versus a 32 year crop yield of 1.31 tons per acre. From the very beginning Selleck has been very special with impressive richness and depth. The wine has a deep color and great berry perfume with tinges of spice and exotic floral nuances. With great flavors showing a myriad of fruits with exotic tinges, it is also structured with balanced underlying tannins. Just now the wine really benefits from air and should be decanted for maximum enjoyment if you choose to drink it now. But my advice is to be patient and wait for the wine to blossom as it surely will with time. In ten years it should be magical and have decades of life beyond – Extraordinary. $95