Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Calera Wine Company 2006 Chardonnay  (Mount Harlan)

Calera Wine Company

2006 Chardonnay
(Mount Harlan)

Chardonnay from Monterey’s Mount Harlan AVA is about as good a model as any of how perfectly sublime Chardonnay from California can be. Josh Jensen’s Chardonnay plantings here date to 1984, and at 2,200 feet in elevation, high above the Monterey fog, these mature vines enjoy an enviable combination of bright sun and cool temperatures. Additionally, Mount Harlan's Burgundy-like limestone soils, which are a signature of the tiny appellation’s terroir, lend a characteristic minerality to the wines.

Calera’s 2006 Mt. Harlan Chardonnay proudly exhibits its origin with confidence and clarity. The wine offers a beautiful light golden color with green hues and a dynamite pure Chardonnay expression with absolutely pristine fruit aromatics. Lovely lemony zest and stone fruit aromas and flavors are accented by mild hazelnut notes – the result of a sensibly judicious oak regime (French oak, 30 percent new, for 7 months).

In fact, the use of wood here is so finely calibrated that the oak is barely perceptible – but it is there, adding the complexity and dimension that oak aging was originally intended to do, without dominating the rest of the wine. The palate of this wine is so full flavored and rich, but so crisp and focused at the same time, that the wine fools you into thinking it is light. Bitter lemon pith gives just enough tannic drag to hold everything on the palate for a long extended finish. This is a big wine that delivers so much without ever having to stoop to being obtuse and obvious.

Reviewed March 20, 2008 by Adam Dial.

The Wine

Winery: Calera Wine Company
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Mount Harlan
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $25.00

Review Date: 3/20/2008

The Reviewer

Adam Dial

Brought up in a family with winery ventures in both California and Canada, Adam Dial seeks and appreciates diversity and individuality in wines. He is a Sommelier with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and service industry, and is a respected wine educator, judge and industry advisor. In 2003 Adam Dial co-founded Appellation America.