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Community Tasting Notes (23) Avg Score: 87.0 points

  • Pristine bottle, purchased at the estate. The Mills vineyard (14.4 acres) is 2,200 feet above sea level, south facing, on limestone soils, vines planted in 1984. Yield was 1.15 tons per acre (app. 18 hl/ha), aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak, 1,096 cases produced, 14.5% ABV. Mature but lively appearance, a warm bricky red; wonderful nose, warm and inviting, smoky Pinot Noir, complex notes of black tea, spice and anchovy, harmonious and deep, ripe yet fresh fruit with a hint of forest floor, excellent mineral depth; the palate is gentle and mature, satiny yet fresh, seamless, elegant, with perfect grip from the oak tannins, has lost a bit of weight but not drying, mature fruit flavours, develops a chocolaty note; lovely minerality and drive on the finish, very good length. A wine with real individuality and sense of place.

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  • Ready to drink with 1 hour decant. Food a must.

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  • Tasted from MAG.....the nose on this wine was wonderful - complex and it evolved nicely over the course of the evening. There were notes of pine/menthol mixed with brown spice, hints of earth and some red fruits (raspberry, cranberry, etc.). The palate was medium bodied with red fruit flavors dominating and a bit of earthy spice as well. On the finish it showed quite a bit of firmness - both moderate acidity and some grittiness to the tannins which seemed a bit unusual for an 11 y.o. Pinot (but based on others tasting notes, plus the larger format bottle, this seemed to be in line with what I expected). The structure made the wine a bit rough to drink on its own, but with a grilled pork roast it was tamed down. Long story short, the nose was great, and although the wine was a bit coarse on the palate, having it with food helped to balance it out. I don't think that any more time will help because it's likely that the tannins will outlast any remaining fruit....drink em if you've got em.

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  • From a bottle purchased at a restaurant, this wine looked good with a deep red center and red rims. The high- intensity nose of cola, black cherry, forest floor, and soil is tricky to guess blind.

    Not surprisingly, this wine was at its best after 4 hours of air. It was good but a bit tannic and showed some excess alcohol in the early going. Afterward, it was rich and ripe but with strong acidity and rounded tannin. This wine is obviously too young but shows nice potential. I would give it 5-8 hours of decanter time or 10+ years of bottle age.

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  • Hasn't gotten any better since I tried it a couple of years ago. Still overripe, roasted and alcoholic.

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  • By Stephen Tanzer
    January/February 2006, IWC Issue #124, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard Mount Harlan) Subscribe to see review text.

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