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  • Excellent Pinot Noirs at Calera

    Posted on April 11, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

    Josh Jensen began his journey of creating excellent Pinot Noirs in California in 1971, after he returned from France. His French mentors had told him that the pinot noir must be grown in limestone-rich soil to produce excellent wines of that variety. He found the Mt. Harlan property where the Calera vineyards are still situated in 1974 after two years of searching for the perfect location for his vineyard. In the property still stands a limekiln which is “Calera” in Spanish. This is how Calera wines got its name.

    In 1975, Jensen began planting his first 24 acres of pinot noir in three separate parcels of the vineyard. One of the three parcels he named Jensen. The vineyards produced their first crop in 1978. Soon after, Jensen expanded his vineyard, purchasing 300 acres more in 1982. It was in 1998 when he established the parcel he named Ryan which he planted with pinot noirs.

    Halfway between the vineyards and Hollister town, he built his winery. On the property stood a multi-level rock-crushing facility which was never used and which Jensen turned into the winery where the wine moves through the winemaking process without using any pumps. Instead, it is a gravity-flow winery that utilizes non-interventionist techniques that allows their wines to be pure and focused.

    The Jensen Vineyard which occupies 14 acres of the original parcel of land he owned produced the acclaimed Jensen Pinot Noir 2009. This dark-colored pinot noir has been described by critics as having stunning depth with “dark fruit, spices and sweet balsamic notes.” It has elegant fruity layers that saturate the palate with a “depth and nuance that is breathtaking.”

    The Ryan Pinot Noir 2010 has been described as having sweet layers beginning with a hint of Tobacco, moving on to crushed flowers, then soft leather, to spices and finally to the sensual taste of cherries. The dark colored pinot noir has smells of plums and blackberries with a spicy undertone with a sweet floral twist. It is a deep, structured wine with a long finish. It is time to acquire these wines now before the wine stocks run out. Calera wines have earned a very good reputation as being one of the best wineries in California that produces acclaimed wines at relatively competitive prices.

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