2017 Calera Chardonnay Mt. Harlan Estate

Year: 2017
Appellation: Mount Harlan
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 90
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

"Well-structured, juicy and redolent of pear tart flavors, with spicy shadings. The buttery finish is nicely framed by hints of wet stone and dried citrus. Drink now through 2022. 1,990 cases made. -KM" (WS)

"The 2017 Chardonnay Mount Harlan went through full malolactic and aged 15 months in 30% new French oak. The nose unfurls to mushroom tart, prosciutto, baked quince and golden apples with a streak of crushed shell/saline plus accents of orange blossoms, jasmine and hazelnuts. Light to medium-bodied, it's minerally on the entry, slowly spreading savory wings in the mouth, lifted by tangy acidity and finishing long, bright and mineral again. I love the dynamic character of this wine. 1,900 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)

"Calera's 2017 Chardonnay Mt. Harlan is silky and understated, with a bit more early appeal and less of the phenolic, savory structure that is often found in this wine, one of the estate's flagship bottlings. The Mt. Harlan Chardonnay now spends 15 months in barrel (rather than the 11 or so that were common in the past), which softens some of the contours and adds sleekness." (VM)

Winery Notes:
Calera’s Mt. Harlan Vineyards are located in the Gavilan Mountains 25 miles east of the Monterey Bay. The site was chosen for its limestone soils and ideal climate. At an average elevation of 2,200 feet it is among the highest and coolest vineyard sites in California.

In the Vineyards:
A wet winter, with more than double our average annual rainfall, made for very happy vineyards in 2017. While budbreak arrived slightly later than usual, warm spring weather led to excellent fruit sets at our Mt. Harlan vineyards, with above-average yields for both Pinot Noir and our white varieties. Thanks to the abundant early season rains, and Mt. Harlan’s high elevation and marine-influenced climate, our estate vineyards weathered a significant Labor Day heat event wonderfully, producing complex and elegant wines, with beautifully balanced acids and sugars.

Comments from the Winemaker:
Grown high on the limestone-rich soils of Mt. Harlan, this is a sleek and sophisticated expression of cool-climate Chardonnay, with alluring aromas of guava, Mandarin orange, fennel and hints of cedar. On the palate, the wine’s lovely weight and lush texture is balanced by a bright natural acidity that adds purity and precision to the generous white peach and passion fruit flavors.