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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.
The 2016 Chardonnay Mt Harlan from Calera is excellent, wafting from the glass with notes of yellow orchard fruit, citrus blossom and blanched almonds. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, ample and elegantly textural, with lovely tension, chalky grip and a pure, stony finish. This is a beautifully balanced offering from Calera that still feels tightly coiled, and I wouldn't be surprised if my score comes to look conservative
Varietal Content: 100% Chardonnay; Winemaking: 15 months, sur lie, 100% French oak, 30% new, 10% second, 60% neutral
Bright and sophisticated, with lovely weight and a lush, mouthcoating texture, this wine begins with enticing aromas of Asian pear, toasted brioche and lemon zest. On the palate, flavors of Key lime pie and cumquat are supported by beautifully integrated French oak and a streak of acidity that adds poise and length to this elegant Chardonnay.
After several years of drought, 2016 brought a return to normal winter rainfall levels, which replenished the Mt. Harlan vineyards and set the pace for a slightly early, but near-ideal, growing season. A warm spring led to a relatively early budbreak, followed by warm, sunny summer. While summer provided abundant sunshine for ripening the grapes, mild nights ensured that they ripened perfectly, with excellent acid and sugar levels.