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: the celebrated Wente clone and Dijon clone 96. As usual at Bernardus, we use only hand-picked and sorted grapes for our wines.
Beautiful aromas of ripe peach and apricot mingle with scents of caramel and honey suckle. On the palate we find very intense flavors of candied white fruits along with subtle spice and toasty oak notes. The palate is exceptionally rich, but perfectly supported by a crisp acidity and a very long finish. This is a superb bottle of Chardonnay!
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. This Chardonnay undergoes a complete malo-lactic fermentation to enhance richness and complexity. In addition, each barrel has been hand stirred every two weeks until shortly before final blending and bottling.
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands.
Cooperage: 100% French; 40% new: Sirugue, Billon, Dargaud & Jaegle.
Picking dates: September 8th, 2017
Bottling: September 5th, 2018.
472 cs. (750 mls.)