- The Underground Wine Letter - https://www.undergroundwineletter.com -


Calera lime kiln [1]

Stunning New Releases

Calera logo 1

I have been familiar with Calera since the inaugural vintage in 1978 and first visited the winery just after those wines were released (to read notes on the first Calera wines in the Barrels and Bottles feature of The Underground Wineletter Volume II, Number 2 Oct-Nov 1980 click here [2]). My most recent article was based on a visit there last August – VISIT TO CALERA: NEW AND OLD WINES [3](click to read the article which includes notes on many upcoming 2013 and 2014 releases as well as old wines and links to previous articles which also have notes on wines from recent vintages and the Calera history and background).

Below are notes on  the new Calera Central Coast releases and the first 2 Calera Mt. Harlan Estate Pinot Noir releases. The Central Coast Calera wines are made from purchased grapes and are consistently of very high quality and good values. The new releases are stunning and not to be missed. Also, the first releases of the 2013 Mt. Harlan Pinot Noirs show the great quality of this vintage. This is the third time I have tasted these 2013 Mt. Harlan Pinot Noirs. They are very special and are great wines to buy and lay away.
And, don’t forget to look for the others as they are released later this year.

Central Coast

Here is how Calera describes their Central Coast wines: Each year Calera purchases Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from growers throughout the Central Coast Region of California to be made into Calera’s Central Coast wines. The vineyard sources for these wines have remained fairly consistent, however small quantities of fruit from new or newly available vineyards are included almost every year, with a constant eye toward the best possible quality. The recently released 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Pinot Noir, and 2015 Pinot Gris are all Outstanding wines and Best Buys. Quality and value – This is as good as it gets!

Calera Central Coast [4]

2014 Calera Chardonnay Central Coast
The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were sourced from 7 different vineyards from 5 different counties within California’s Central Coast Viticultural Area. Total production was 13,843 cases.
With a light yellow gold color this is a delicious fruit driven Chardonnay with lots of early appeal. It has a lovely floral perfume with faint hints of peach and a kiss of spice. The fruit is very pure and is rounded and supple with faint citrus spice tinges and a nice crispness on the finish. A very food friendly Chardonnay, this wine is a great accompaniment with many different salads, vegetable dishes, and fish and chicken – Outstanding. $20.00  Best Buy

2014 Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast
The Pinot Noir grapes for this wine were sourced from 9 different vineyards located in 5 different counties in California’s Central Coast Viticultural Area. Over 50% of the grapes came from Laetitia Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County and Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Total production was 14,107 cases.
With a very nice ruby color this Pinot Noir is very fruity and expressive. It has a lovely floral perfume with a complement of spice tinged berry fruit and a very faint smokiness. Bright with very fresh fruit hinting of berries and cherries with a faintly smoky spiciness, the wine is balanced, very tasty and easy to drink, with lots of early appeal. On a warm day, served with a very slight chill, this Pinot Noir is irresistible – Outstanding.   $28.00  Best Buy

2015 Calera Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Central Coast
This dry rosé was made from Pinot Noir grapes 70% of which were sourced from Flint Vineyard in San Benito County and 30% from Chula Viña Vineyard in Monterey County. Total production was 264 cases.
Last year’s version of this wine was a stunner and this 2015 is a great follow up. Very light reddish orange color the wine has a great cherry perfume with floral/herbal nuances. It is very crisp and refreshing with delicate berry and cherry fruit accented by floral/herbal notes and a very faint spiciness. Served well chilled this is simply a delicious wine to accompany a very wide variety of lighter foods – Outstanding.   $19.00  Best Buy

Mt. Harlan

13 Calera pn [5]

These are the first 2 of the 6 different 2013 Calera Mt. Harlan Estate Pinot Noirs to be released this year. The De Villiers is currently more accessible and the Ryan is more closed. This is different than the last time I tasted them at Calera last August. At that time they were both still in tank and scheduled for bottling in a few weeks. They have now been in the bottle for just a few months. I tasted both wines over several days and even kept the Ryan for over a week. During that tasting window both wines opened, although it is clear that the Ryan needs a few more years bottle age to really open up. They are different, but both have the potential to develop and improve with additional bottle age and should provide great pleasure well into the future.

2013 Calera Pinot Noir de Villiers Mt. Harlan
The production of this wine was 993 cases. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral tinged perfume. Balanced with a myriad of red and black fruit flavors accented by a touch of floral spice the wine is very stylistic and very open and expressive. It should age beautifully – Outstanding.   $52

2013 Calera Pinot Noir Ryan Mt.Harlan
The production of this wine was 861 cases. It has a deep color and a great black cherry perfume. Rich and full with layers of black fruit flavors, there is a very firm underlying structure and a tannic core. This wine is really an essence of Pinot Noir, but just now the wine is quite closed. It was not nearly as closed in my previous tastings. Now in the bottle for a few months, it took several days for the wine to open and each time I tasted it I poured a glass and gave it a few hours air. For a week the wine gradually continued to open. This is a Pinot Noir with a lot of intensity and depth. However, it is not for the impatient or faint of heart. It needs several years to become more expressive and beyond that I would expect it will provide a lot of pleasure and enjoy a long life – Highly Recommended Plus/Outstanding Plus Potential.   $55

kudos for Calera [6]

Kudos For Calera!