2016 Sierra Mar Chardonnay
Sierra Mar is a superb vineyard planted by the renowned grower Gary Franscioni on a dramatic hilltop location at the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands. We at Bernardus are honored to be among the few to receive both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this super star vineyard.
We are very fortunate to be able to pick from among the several clones of Chardonnay planted here: different selections of the celebrated Wente clone and Dijon clone 96. As usual at Bernardus, we use only hand-picked and sorted grapes for our wines.
The nose exudes beautiful aromas of ripe peach and tropical fruits, accented by notes of toasty oak. The palate is exceptionally intense and rich with flavors mirroring the aromas. The finish is very long and perfectly balanced by its crisp acidity.
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands.
Fermentation: All our Chardonnays are fermented and aged in the Burgundian tradition. Our Sierra Mar Chardonnay grapes are hand-picked and sorted for quality before being gently whole-cluster pressed and fermented using a special selection of yeasts. All our Chardonnays undergo a complete malo-lactic fermentation to enhance richness and complexity. In addition, each barrel has been hand stirred every two weeks until shortly before blending and bottling.
Cooperage: 100% French; 40% new: Sirugue, Billon, Dargaud & Jaegle.
Picking dates: September 22nd and 23rd, 2016.
Bottling: August 15th, 2017.
502 cs. (750 mls.)