2012CaleraCC2012 Calera, Pinot Noir, Central Coast.
Without question Calera is one of the most important and influential wineries in California, and Josh Jensen one of the top guns in Pinot Noir, it is interesting to see how his wines have come back into the spotlight in recent years and his old world Burgundian ways become new again. Jensen’s entry level Central Coast Pinot has been on a roll in the last four vintages and this 2012 is another winner, this cuvee is made up of many sites from areas as far away as Santa Barbara County to Calera’s home base on mount Harlan in San Benito County, with a bit of Monterey thrown in. This edition is fleshy and textural on the palate, but has good acidity and vibrancy as well, this well crafted and judged Pinot remains a benchmark for value priced Pinot Noir and is full of delicious pleasure. I must admit, there was a time when I felt the Calera wines were too steamy and earthy, needing lots of cellar time to unwind their potential, so I must eat crow a bit, but still there has been a improvement in the clarity in these wines, plus Jensen’s vines have gained age, so I must give even more credit now, where credit is due, these wines are some of the finest Pinot Noir wines in California, and this Central Coast bottling is a great place to start if you’ve not tried Calera before. The 2012 Calera Central Coast Pinot starts with a subtly perfumed nose that reveal faint floral tones, earthy spices, hints of herb tea and dark currants leading to a palate of tangy cherry, plum and cranberry fruit with notes of raspberry, strawberry and cola bean along with wild mushroom, aromatic pipe tobacco and peppery cinnamon. A kiss of wood and a good finish leave a nice aftertaste in this fine and vivid wine that has a good kick of acidity keeping things fresh and lively, this is a super food wine and I bet this little Pinot with age ten years easy, look for it to fill out and gain depth in the next year in bottle, bravo.
($26 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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