Gary Franscioni, whose Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards are widely esteemed to be among the very best of the Santa Lucia Highlands, has planted an exciting new vineyard at the southern end of the Highlands. Sierra Mar vineyard is perched on a dramatic hilltop location just a stone’s throw from the famous Pisoni vineyard. We at Bernardus are fortunate to be among the few wineries to receive both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Sierra Mar.
We have chosen two from among the several clones of Chardonnay planted here: the celebrated Wente clone and Dijon clone 96. All grapes at Bernardus are hand picked and sorted to insure superior results. For this, our first vintage, Gary’s rigorous vineyard management has provided us with a small crop of superb quality.
The aromas display a bouquet of ripe tropical fruits, caramel apple and subtle notes of fresh butter and cinnamon. The flavors are very full in the mouth, exhibiting notes of peach and apricot along with ripe apple, hazelnut and crème brûlée. The rich texture is beautifully balanced by a refreshing acidity typical of our region.
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Fermentation: We use a variety of selected and native yeasts. It has undergone a complete Malo-lacic fermentation to add richness and buttery nuances. We hand stir each barrel every two weeks throughout its 10 months in barrel to enhance mouthfeel and complexity.
Production: 302 cases (750 mls.)
Retail Price: $40.00