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Calera: Stop once, get a lot of Pinot

Posted on: July 10th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

In 1976 Josh Jensen came up with enough cash and bank loans to plant 24 acres of Pinot Noir and start a winery simply known today as the Calera Wine Company.  He relied on his experience in the art of French winemaking to pick out a property rich in limestone soil layers, considered in Europe to be an essential component for a successful vineyard.  Today, his efforts are paying off.

With a wine lineup that includes over a dozen labeled variations, Calera has taken what once was a rather obscure operation to the next level.  Many of their wines are now fairly easy to get with more selections available to wine club members.  In fact, their lineup of Pinot Noir wines is very well crafted with a “step up the line” in complexity that rivals the scope of much larger wineries.

If you want to try these, Total Wine has the 2009 Central Cost Pinot in stock here at their Phoenix area stores for under $25.  If not available already, the 2010 should appear very soon in the same price range.   If you would like to do a tasting of the more expensive Calera Pinots, check out the “Ryan”, “Mills”, and “Sellick”.  Total Wine has all of them in stock for about $40 for the first two and $60 for the Selleck.

You will probably notice that each of these Pinots increase in complexity and power as you taste up the line with the 94-rated Selleck a very complex wine that needs to be served with flavorful entrées like game hen, duck, or seafood soup to be fully appreciated.

For a pleasing Pinot Noir experience, sticking with their Central Coast Pinot is a great plan with baked chicken, especially if your guests aren’t really into wine.  Its earthy dried cherries and hint of rhubarb in the bouquet, moderate acidity, and slightly peppery finish, keep it interesting but not too over the top.

One thing you can be sure of is that these are unique wines from parts of California that don’t get a lot of “Pinot Attention” and are sure to add some variety to any wine tasting affair.  Because of their uniqueness, Calera wines are often featured on restaurant wine lists.

Serve slightly chilled from the fridge after 30 minutes (60-65 degrees).

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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