2016 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard

Year: 2016
Appellation: Mount Harlan
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

"Aged in 30% new French oak for 17 months, the 2016 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard is pale to medium ruby in the glass. The nose opens to dusty soil and crushed stone notes, fleshing out to charcuterie, dried red cherries, mushroom and tree bark with black tea leaves hints. The palate is medium-bodied, savory and firmly framed, with seamlessly woven freshness and finishing nuanced. 940 cases produced.

Winemaker Mike Waller decided not to pick when the heat came over Labor Day in 2017. “I know if you pick underripe, you can’t make a good wine. So you just have to go with it when that heat happens. It was 105 degrees here at Mount Harlan for a couple of days, but we hadn’t started picking. Some vines along the Central Coast stalled or shut down. But our vines kept maturing the fruit. I didn’t see anything shift or raisin. It wasn’t that frying heat that the rest of California had.”" (WA)

"The 2016 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard, from own-rooted vines, is one of the more open-knit wines in this range. Soft and gracious, with medium-bodied structure, the 2016 is nicely understated, but it also does not have the layered quality found in so many wines. Overall though, the Mills feels a bit stressed, an impression that is reinforced by the dried fruit, tobacco and licorice flavors. I would prefer to drink it sooner rather than later." (VM)

"Cellar Selection, Wild cherry, thyme, sagebrush and light bay leaf aromas converge on the nose of this bottling, which is relatively mellow to start but opens considerable with patience. Roasted cherry, cherry-pit and juniper flavors align on the palate, which is full-throttle in flavor and structure. Drink 2021–2036. -Matt Kettmann" (WE)

Winery Notes:
In 2016, Mills Vineyard yielded a robust and expressive Pinot Noir that marries lovely dark berry layers of black currant and raspberry, with sophisticated notes of black tea, mushrooms and moist earth. On the palate, smooth, flowing tannins accentuate the rich fruit, while adding to a lush, concentrated finish.