Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Calera Wine Company 2004 Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard (Mount Harlan)

Calera Wine Company

2004 Pinot Noir, Mills Vineyard
(Mount Harlan)

The 14.4 acre Mills Vineyard isn’t among the first that Calera founder Josh Jensen planted, but the vines nevertheless are more than 20 years old. The vineyard was planted on its own roots, using cuttings from other Calera vineyards that were planted nine years earlier. The Mills Vineyard, like Calera’s other Mt. Harlan plots, has limestone soils, and the site is on a gentle, south-facing slope. The Mills Pinots usually have a characteristic spiciness.

That’s certainly true of the 2004, which displays spicy raspberry, cherry and rhubarb flavors and plenty of bright acidity. It’s a well-structured wine that still retains its suppleness. Like most of the other Calera Pinots, this one underwent whole-cluster fermentation. It spent 16 months in French oak barrels, 30 percent of them new. The Mills is a fairly ripe wine, at 15 percent alcohol, but it carries that alcohol extremely well and isn’t at all “hot.” This is one of the most plentiful single-vineyard Pinots that Calera produces – more than 1,200 cases in the 2004 vintage. And the price, $45, while not cheap, is more modest than for some of the other Calera wines.

Reviewed September 19, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.

The Wine

Winery: Calera Wine Company
Vineyard: Mills Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Mount Harlan
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $45.00

Review Date: 9/19/2007

The Reviewer

Laurie Daniel

Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.