Revered in the wine world, Josh Jensen is the winemaker at Calera Wine. He’s graced the cover of Wine Spectator and Jensen’s pinot noirs are known the world over.
So it was during their recent Summer Social & Sliders event that I made my pinot pilgrimage to Calera, to sip and savor wine made from grapevines grown in limestone soil at the site of a former limekiln. Arriving at the winery I was immediately awed by the views provided by the majestic Diablo Mountains.
My tasting started inside the cool barrel room with a glass of 2014 Central Coast Chardonnay ($20), awarded “Best Value!” by Wine & Spirits Magazine. Next up was a “spunky and fun” 2015 Pinot Noir Rose—just right for summertime picnics.
Although 19 different pinot noirs, all estate grown and from different vineyard blocks, are available for purchase, for the day’s event we were treated to a vertical tasting of pinots from the Jensen Mt. Harlan block: two library and one 2012 release.
The pinots were poured next to the outside tent filled with gourmet sliders. Surprisingly, the 2005 Pinot Noir ($94) is still a fabulous wine, showing rich and complex layers of ripe raspberry and Bing cherry. The 2009 Pinot Noir ($104) is silky with sweet spice topping the dense raspberry and cherry cola flavors. Layers of sweet raspberry jam and tart rhubarb give way to leathery notes on the finish of the 2012 Pinot Noir ($92).
Taking in the views, I savored the tasty bites and sipped these extraordinary wines.