Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.





 The Winery

Calera is a vision, and Calera’s wines truly express the sense of place.  Rather than follow the recommended path, Josh Jensen became a pioneer in search of the perfect spot on the globe to grow grapes.  Taking his cue from the great domaines of Burgundy which have grown grapes in limestone soil for centuries, he set out in search of the perfect spot in California to create wines unique to the world but in the style of the greatest wines of France.  Site selection was vital as he ventured off the grid to plant on the site of an old limekiln in the Gavilan Mountains of California.  Today Calera wines still express that pioneer spirit and are revered the world over.  We are proud to report that even Robert Parker is convinced: “Calera is one of the most compelling Pinot Noir specialists of not only the New World, but of Planet Earth.”


The Wine

This 100% Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes from the following Central Coast vineyards:

Laetitia Vineyard- San Luis Obispo County

Sierra Madre Vineyard- Santa Barbara County

Antle Vineyard – Monterey County

Bien Nacido Vineyard- Santa Barbara County

Doctor’s Vineyard- Monterey County

Pedregal Vineyard – San Benito County

Chula Vina Vineyard- Monterey County

Besson Vineyard- Santa Clara County

Flint Vineyard- San Benito County

Idyll Times Vineyard- San Benito County



Spanbauer view


2012 Calera Pinot Noir – $23.93

I’ve enjoyed previous vintages of this wine, so I’m interested in seeing how this wine turned out in the highly acclaimed 2012 vintage.  This is usually a very nice middle of the road style of Pinot Noir.  It usually has some richness but is not overly ripe.


The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The tempting and inviting nose has black cherries, baking spices, earthy underbrush, wild flowers, cola and a touch of spicy oak.  This has medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit is a bit brighter than the nose lead me to expect with tart cherries and baking spices up front with some building earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with fruit and spice carrying the load.  This is very nice for an entry level Pinot and a keeper for a touch over $20.  (90 pts)

2012 Calera Pinot Noir

2012 Calera Pinot Noir



Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.




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Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.






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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.