I’ve written about how useful I find the back labels of Calera’s Pinot Noirs (not to mention what’s inside the bottle!), which are the most informative and useful back labels I can recall.
The 2007 Calera Central Coast Pinot (88, $24) is not only an exceptional wine, smooth, silky and elegantly styled, but upon further review I noticed that owner Josh Jensen produced 15,767 cases (an amazing achievement) and if I hadn’t noticed that, I might have thought that this wine was made from some of the cuvees that didn’t make it into the line of Calera single vineyard Pinots.
What I found interesting and informative is the back label breakdown of where the grapes came from. Calera lists all nine vineyards by name and percentage included in the cuvée, with 22 percent coming from Doctor’s Vineyard in Monterey (along with three other Monterey vineyards, which makes up about half of the wine) and small lots from San Benito (where Calera is based), Santa Barbara and Santa Clara. It also includes a few notes about the winemaking.
Many wineries would consider putting so much information on a back label a hassle. Yet for me Calera’s tells a story of how complexity is built into a wine through regional diversity and you can not only taste it but also see the different sources in black and white.