A High-End Pinot for $24 – Calera Central Coast (WA92, $23.95)

October 12, 2016 90+ Bargains  No comments

Calera Central Coast LabelWith the domestic Pinot Noir boom in full force, it’s increasingly difficult to find value in this hot category.  As with other hot categories, I look to the top producers’ lesser wines.  Calera makes Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) from exclusive vineyards on Mt. Harlan and the $50+ price points reflect that exclusivity.  But each year they combine grapes from some of the Central Coast’s best vineyards and make a Central Coast bottling.  The “Central Coast” label may be generic, but the vineyards are anything but.  Many of the vineyards are used for the flagship wine for other wineries.  Names like Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills are featured on the label which details the percentage that each vineyard makes up.

The look of this wine is decidedly Burgundian with a transparent ruby, but on the palate it’s much more “California” with bright strawberry, notes and a very broad mouthfeel.  To my taste this hits the sweet spot on ripeness for CA Pinot at 14.1%.

With comments like “Pinot Noir to buy by the case” from the Wine Advocate and a 92 point review, this really is a no-brainer.  As usual, LAWC has the lowest price in the country.

Buy Here: Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2014 $23.95

Wine Advocate 92 points

“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 has no hard edges, a core of sweet fruit and a beautiful finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. I’m sure it will keep for 4-5 years (probably longer), but there’s no need to delay gratification. Don’t miss this fabulous effort and bravo to the Calera team for delivering this level of quality at the price.

Pulling from his estate vineyards located east of Monterey, in San Benito County and the Mount Harlan AVA, winemaker Josh Jenson can seemingly do no wrong. He produces beautiful whites and reds that are singular and packed with flavor. All of his 2013s are classic wines.”

Vinous 91 points

“The 2014 Pinot Noir (Central Coast) is both impeccable and absolutely delicious. Sweet, floral and open-knit, the Central Coast is also a fabulous introduction to the Calera house style. Beautifully perfumed and gracious, the 2014 offers striking aromatics and plenty of bright fruit to match its mid-weight, chiseled personality. Drink it over the next few years.”

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