Calera Chardonnay Mount Harlan 2006
2006 Calera Chardonnay Mt Harlan has a bit of everything, alluring aromas of apples, mandarin essence and vanilla, along with a very creamy unctuous texture. It shows great balance, with well-integrated acid, just a touch of restrained oak and an abundance of the minerality typical of Mt. Harlan's limestone soils. "If only we had a buck for each time we hear, "Can you recommend a good Chardonnay?" Like it's even possible to answer that question. But for his latest vintage, Josh Jensen (our 2007 Winemaker of the Year) hit the tricky balance between the firm minerality that makes Chard compelling and the rich fruit that makes it so popular. Here, a nose of creamy papaya, crushed pineapple and clover preface lots of ripe fruit that robes a hefty mineral-edged core. It's the New New Chardonnay - with ripeness to spare and oak seamlessly woven in, yet with near-monumental structure (that's 14.9 percent alcohol, mister) from a late-ripening year in Calera's rugged vineyards." SF Chronicle This is a California Wine
Acidic attack with lots of oak on the nose. There's a touch of fruit hidden behind, but its way too oaky. A bitter and very spicy oaky finish (short though).
Harvested very ripe (Oct-Nov 2006) and shows hints of ripe tree fruit and even tropical fruit, but the most salient style is that luxurious, unctuous buttery style with spice, toffee and creamy oaky nuts, quite viscous and delicious
External Reviews for Calera 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.
For decades, Josh Jensen has produced benchmark Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays while tirelessly promoting the Central Coast. In the typical Calera style, this wine exhibits bright orchard fruits, particularly apples and nectarines, with a lovely note of baking spice adding complexity and depth. This wine displays unusually succulent acidity for a California Chardonnay and is a superb match for your summer grilled fish dishes.