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2011 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 three from among the several clones of Chardonnay planted here: the celebrated Wente Clone and Dijon clones 95 and 96. As usual at Bernardus, we use only hand-picked and sorted grapes for our wines.

On the nose we find aromas of ripe apple and pear with notes of orange blossom and caramel. The palate is beautifully rich with flavors of baked pear and candied orange peel, with hints of fresh, creamy butter accented by cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is long and well-structured promising wonderful ageing potential for this delicious wine.

Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands

Picking date: October 7th and 11th, 2011.

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: 439 cs. (750 mls.)

Retail Price: $40.00

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