Calera

"Calera is one of the great and historic wineries in California. They are a producer that epitomizes what Polaner Selections is all about – traditionally made wines (lots of stems and acidity) that have an amazing amount of soul, clarity and balance. And even more incredible: Who else besides Calera is making certified organic, super-traditional wines in an old world style, from 30+ year old estate vines grown in limestone, and has a clone and AVA named for them here in America? No one!

Calera was officially founded in 1975, when owner/winemaker Josh Jensen planted his first 24 acres of pinot noir in three separate parcels in Mt. Harlan. Having studied in Burgundy, Josh was determined to follow in his mentors' foot steps. He spent two years searching for limestone throughout California before finally purchasing a high-elevation parcel with a limestone subsoil in early 1974. (Limestone had even been commercially quarried here a 100 years earlier. To this day, there stands a magnificently well-preserved, 30-foot tall masonry limekiln, or "calera" in Spanish. It thus serves as the winery's symbol and appears on every bottle of wine.)

Located 90 miles south of San Francisco and about 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Calera is near Mt. Harlan in San Benito County. Its elevation is 2,200 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest and coolest vineyard properties in California. All the vineyards are based on selected cuttings from Burgundy ("Calera Selection"), with new vineyards started from massale selections taken from older plots.

In the Burgundian tradition, Josh named each parcel individually to emphasize the fact that each would produce a distinct wine. The original plantings are the Selleck Vineyard (5 acres), Reed Vineyard (5 acres), and Jensen Vineyard (14 acres). These vineyards produced their initial tiny crop in 1978.

Josh made Calera's first wine in 1975: 1000 cases of zinfandel produced from purchased grapes. During his first two years as a winemaker, he made the Calera wines in a rented space in a larger nearby winery. He gradually purchased more vineyard land, as well as property upon which he built his winery. Over the span of 25 years he transformed a multi-level rock crushing facility into a gravity-flow winery where the wines are moved by the mere force of gravity, rather than by the use of pumps. This multi-layered hillside construction has allowed for the gentlest possible handling of the Calera wines.

In 1990 the U.S. government approved the Mt. Harlan AVA (American Viticultural Area), which is high in the Gavilan Mountains (the lowest point is at 1,800 feet above sea level). While it is a large AVA which comprises 7,400 acres, Calera's are the only vineyards in the Mt. Harlan Viticultural Area.

Calera's winemaking is steeped in non-interventionist practices, such as the use of native yeasts, hand-harvesting, whole cluster fermentations, minimal racking, and fining and/or filtration only when necessary, insuring the bottled wines express all of the natural greatness of their vineyard origins."

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Calera 'Central Coast' Chardonnay 2016
91  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 91 "The nose of this wine is sharp and precise in tones of chalk, tangerine cream, dried lemon and crushed nuts. There's a strong mineral quality through the entire palate that accents flavors of lemon juice and yellow pear."  Vinous Media 90 "The 2016 Chardonnay (Central Coast)
Item Number: 31419
Bottle:$17.95
BTL

Calera 'Jensen Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2015
"From vines planted in 1975, this gorgeous Pinot Noir effortlessly straddles the line between power and elegance, displaying silky, harmonious tannins and remarkable concentration and complexity. Layers of cherry, cola, violets, vanilla and fresh-cracked pepper linger long on the palate, supported
Item Number: 29166
Bottle:$89.95
BTL

Calera 'De Villiers Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2015
"Vintage after vintage, De Villiers yields one of Calera’s most voluptuous and dark-fruited expressions of Pinot Noir, and the 2015 is no exception! Aromas of brambly blackberry, cocoa and chamomile hint at this wine’s explosive depth. On the palate, a lush, mouth-filling texture and age-worthy
Item Number: 29165
Bottle:$69.95
BTL

Calera 'Central Coast' Pinot Noir 2015
(1)
92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92 "The keenly priced 2015 Pinot Noir 40th Anniversary Vintage from Calera is lovely, wafting from the glass with youthfully complex aromas of potpourri, cherries, strawberry and spice. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, expansive and velvety, with a succulent core of fruit,
Item Number: 28136
Bottle:$24.95
BTL

Calera 'Ryan Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2014
95  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 95+ "The 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard is a powerful, bombastic wine with huge fruit and equally imposing tannins that demand patience. Waves of dark, deeply sketched fruit hit the palate in a virile Pinot Noir that is going to need at least several years to truly come into its own. By

Calera 'Central Coast' Chardonnay 2015
(1)
"Tangerine, gardenia and Meyer lemon accented by Marcona almond and pear waft from this beautiful 2015 Chardonnay; succulent, bright and rich like key lime pie. The palate is flavorful, lush and lively with notes of mineral and citrus zest and a delightful zingy mouthcoating richness persisting into

Calera 'Ryan Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2013
95  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 95+ "A big, powerful wine, the 2013 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard packs a serious punch. Dark, bold flavors abound, the result of a drought year that produced tiny berries. Readers will have to be patient, as the Ryan is likely to require quite a bit of time to come around. Even at this

Calera 'De Villiers Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2013
95  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 95 "The 2013 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is intense, pure and brilliant. Dark red cherry, blood orange, lavender, mint, star anise and wild flowers give the de Villiers an exotic edge in this vintage. Plush and deep on the palate, the 2013 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine.

Calera 'Selleck Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2013
(1)
97  Vinous Media 
Wine Advocate 97 "The biggest, richest wine in the lineup is the 327-case 2013 Pinot Noir Selleck Vineyard, which comes from the 4.8-acre Selleck Vineyard (this is one of the warmer terroirs on the estate). It was harvested from September 24th to October 4th, spending 18 months in 30% new puncheons

Calera 'Central Coast' Pinot Noir 2014
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92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92 "Readers looking for a classic, incredibly well made Pinot Noir to buy by the case should look no further than Josh's 2014 Pinot Noir from the Central Coast AVA. Supple, sexy, seamless and elegant, with classic Calera notes of raspberries, mulled cherries, spice and dried soil, it

Calera 'Central Coast' Viognier 2014
91  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 91 "Mint, honey, chamomile and apricot are some of the signatures that emerge from Calera's 2014 Viognier (Central Coast). Beautifully layered and waxy on the palate, but not at all heavy or cloying, the 2014 strikes a gorgeous balance in all of its elements. The 2014 is a real stand

Calera 'Jensen Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2013
96  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 96 "The Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard is one of the most overt and powerful wines in the range. The stress of the drought comes through in a wine with real sense of push and pull tension. Ample, rich and also structured, the Jensen is another wine that needs at least a few more years in

Calera 'Central Coast' Chardonnay 2014
(3)
92  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 92 "Josh Jensen's appellation blend is arguably the best American white wine for the price. This vintage offers squeezed tangerine, fleur de sel, lily, apple blossom, apple fritters and a touch of tropicality on the nose. The palate is more steely in structure, with chalk and

Calera 'Selleck Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2012
98  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 98 "Deeper and richer than the Jensen, the blockbuster-style 2012 Pinot Noir Selleck Vineyard comes from vines planted in 1975 and wasn't harvested until October 4. A big, rich, layered Pinot Noir that offers tight, reserved notes of blackcurrants, truffle, crushed rocks, forest floor

Calera 'Mills Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2012
96  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 96 "The 2012 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard comes from 26-year-old own-rooted vines and was harvest September 20 to October 17. Aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, its semi-opaque ruby color is followed by sensational notes of ripe currants and darker fruits, scorched earth, smoked

Calera 'De Villiers Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2012
95  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 95 "I loved the 2012 Pinot Noir de Villiers. It's a beautifully complete, balanced and satisfying Pinot Noir that does everything right. Giving up tons of sweet black raspberry and strawberry fruits, spice-box, dried flowers and potpourri characteristics, it's medium to full-bodied,

Calera 'Jensen Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2012
96  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 96 "A thrilling Pinot Noir that comes from a 13.8-acre vineyard planted in 1975 on mostly on limestone, at an elevation of 2,200 feet, the 2012 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard was harvested September 24 to October 21 and was aged 16 months in 30% new French oak. It offers a dark ruby color

Calera Chardonnay 'Mt. Harlan' 2013
93  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 93 "Almonds, tangerine, apricot pit and smoke meld together in the 2013 Chardonnay Mount Harlan. The flavors are bold, intense and racy, but there is plenty of underlying energy and tension in support. The 2013 spent ten months in French oak barrels, 30% new."~Antonio Galloni  Wine

Calera 'Central Coast' Viognier 2013
91  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 91 "The nose on Josh Jensen’s latest vintage is expertly restrained, suggesting honey- and lemon-laced chamomile tea. The flavors are even and nicely arced, with tart lime moving into pear flesh and finishing with butter-scorched lemon and custard."  Vinous Media 90 "The 2013

Calera 'Central Coast' Pinot Noir 2013
92  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 92 "Savory, earthy aromas of mushrooms, black pepper, iron and cranberry arise from this blend of nine vineyards, many of which are usually featured in single-vineyard selections. Umami rules the palate, and it’s quite full for a lighter-colored wine, with brown spice, light red

Calera 'Central Coast' Chardonnay 2013
(1)
92  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 92 "The nose on this wine from nine vineyards ranging from Santa Clara to Santa Barbara reflects much of what the large appellation offers, but in subtle ways: touches of Golden Delicious apples, grilled pineapple, toasted coconut and chalk. The flavors surround a Meyer lemon zest

Calera Chardonnay 'Mt. Harlan' 2012
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 " Showing more tension and energy, the 2012 Chardonnay Mt. Harlan is an incredible effort that exudes ripe apple, white peach, white flowers and mint aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled, the acidity is beautifully integrated, and the wine builds in richness and

Calera 'Jensen Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2011
93  Antonio Galloni 
Antonio Galloni 93 "Bright, floral aromatics meld into savory notes and bright red cranberries in the 2011 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard. Rosewater, mint and crushed rocks appear later, supported by fine, silky tannins that add to an impression of total finesse. A graceful, ethereal finish rounds

Calera 'De Villiers Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2011
93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 93 "First up and seriously perfumed, the 2011 Pinot Noir de Villiers is a gorgeous wine that excels both for its complexity and for its richness and breath on the palate. Giving up notes of ripe cherries, wild strawberries, exotic flowers, citron and spice, it has medium to

Calera 'Ryan Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2011
93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 93 "Slightly deeper and richer, yet also less expressive aromatically, the 2011 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard offers a darker, earthier profile, with black cherry, underbrush, pepper and ground herbs giving way to hints of rose petal and spice with air. Medium to full-bodied, it has