Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

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

Calera Wine Company

2004 Pinot Noir, Selleck Vineyard
(Mount Harlan)

Calera founder Josh Jensen spent a couple of harvests in Burgundy and became convinced that limestone soils were necessary for growing great Pinot Noir. Limestone isn’t all that common in California, but Jensen found what he was looking for in the Gavilan Mountains between Monterey and San Benito counties. He named his vineyard and winery Calera, the Spanish word for limekiln; limestone had been quarried from the property a century earlier, and there was a well-preserved limekiln remaining on the property. (That kiln is depicted on the Calera labels.)

The 4.8 acre Selleck Vineyard was one of the first that Jensen planted, in 1975. It’s a rocky south/southwest-facing slope and typically yields Calera’s most concentrated fruit. The 2004 is a magnificent example, brimming with ripe, spicy raspberry, cherry and strawberry fruit, accented by a very slight leafy note and some lovely spice. Calera uses whole-cluster fermentation, and the wines usually are fairly long-lived. Only a small amount of the Selleck is produced – in 2004, it was 324 cases – and the price is a lofty $75 a bottle. But for a true Pinot aficionado, it’s worth seeking out.

Reviewed September 19, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.

The Wine

Winery: Calera Wine Company
Vineyard: Selleck Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Mount Harlan
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $75.00

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.