2019 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 superstar vineyard.
Grapes: We are very fortunate to be able to pick from a selection of the celebrated Wente and Dijon clones. As usual at Bernardus, we use only hand-picked and sorted grapes for our wines.
Fermentation: All our Chardonnays are fermented and aged in the Burgundian tradition. Our Sierra Mar Chardonnay grapes are gently whole-cluster pressed and fermented using a special selection of yeasts. This Chardonnay undergoes a complete malo-lactic fermentation in barrel to enhance richness and complexity. In addition, each barrel is hand stirred every two weeks until shortly before final blending and bottling.
Tasting notes: On the nose we find beautiful aromas of ripe white fruits with hints of caramel. The palate is very intense and luscious, showing ripe peaches, tangerine and white cherry fruits, along with gentle toasty oak accents. The texture is very rich, followed by an exceptionally long, crisp and finely-focused finish.
This is a superb example of one of California’s finest vineyards!
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands.
Cooperage: 100% French; 40% new: Sirugue, Billon, Dargaud & Jaegle.
Picking dates: September 28th, 2019
Bottling: September 10th, 2020.
482 cs. (750 mls.)