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2010 Vineyard Designate Chardonnay, Sierra Mar

Sierra Mar is a superb new 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 up-and-coming super star.

We have chosen two from among the several clones of Chardonnay planted here: the celebrated Wente Clone and Dijon clone 96. As usual at Bernardus, we use only hand-picked and sorted grapes for our wines. 2010 is our second vintage from this exciting young vineyard.

The aromas leap from the glass in an array of ripe apple and pear with notes of orange blossom and caramel. The palate is incredibly rich and intense. Flavors show baked pear and candied orange peel, with hints of fresh, creamy butter accented by cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is amazingly long and full, promising a wonderful ageing potential for this stunning wine.

Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands

Picking date: October 16th, 2010

Fermentation: All our Chardonnays are fermented and aged in the Burgundian tradition. The 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: Sirugue, Damy, Billon, Dargaud & Jaegle.

Bottling: August 9th, 2011. 208 cs. (750 mls.)

Retail Price: $40.00

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