Deeper and richer than the Jensen, the blockbuster-style 2012 Pinot Noir Selleck Vineyard comes from vines planted in 1975 and wasn't harvested until October 4. A big, rich, layered Pinot Noir that offers tight, reserved notes of blackcurrants, truffle, crushed rocks, forest floor and sassafras, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, beautiful acidity and building, fine tannin that come through on the awesome finish. With air, it turns more and more mineral-laced and earthy, showing even a touch of gaminess. This beauty has terrific depth and richness without ever being over the top. Still a baby, give it a few years in the cellar, and enjoy bottles over the following decade. Bravo to Josh Jenson for this smokin' effort! These latest 2013s from Josh Jenson were superb across the board and at the top-end were some of the most impressive Pinot Noirs I was able to taste for this report. (JD)
Calera's 2012 Pinot Noir Selleck Vineyard is virtually seamless on the palate, with deep layers of fruit that nearly bury the tannins. Dark red and purplish fruit, mint, lavender, sage and sweet spices. Nuanced and impeccably balanced throughout, the 2012 captures the sexiness of the vintage yet retains tons of aromatic nuance and finesse. The 2012 will be a fascinating wine to follow over the next decade-plus. After internships at Dujac and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Josh Jensen returned to his native California in search of vineyard land on limestone soils. Jensen found what he was looking for high atop Mount Harlan, a rugged, hillside property outside Hollister. In the mid-1970s Jensen began developing the land. The resulting vineyards, all of which lie on the same property, give birth to some of the most compelling California Pinots and Chardonnays readers will come across. Given his Burgundian leanings, Jensen vinifies all of this Pinots with 100% whole clusters, with the exception of the de Villiers, which is usually rendered with 50% stems. The 2012 Pinots are fleshy, open and seductive, which is to say very much in the style of the year. Calera fans can also look forward to a complete retrospective of the Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir, which I tasted all the way back to the inaugural 1978 vintage during a recent visit to the winery. (AG)
Cola, sasparilla, cherry blossoms, hard cherry candy and a hint of black currant hit the nose on this rich wine from Josh Jensen. The palate shows brown spice, with clove and peppercorns wrapping around a rhubarb-licorice-thyme character and tart cherries, making for an incredibly distinctive wine. (MK)
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