The Santa Lucia Highlands are known as one of the premier Pinot Noir appellations of the world. One reason for this lofty reputation is Rosella's Vineyard. Gary Franscioni planted his home ranch, named for his lovely wife, in the heart of the Highlands. Gary's home vineyard is planted with a selection of the best available Pinot Noir clones and farmed with unparalleled passion and attention to detail. We at Bernardus are fortunate to have access to three small blocks: 2 planted with clone 777, and the third with the celebrated Pisoni clone.
Each block is individually monitored for ripeness in order to hand-pick each clone at its perfect ripeness level. The grapes are sorted at the winery and fermented in small individual fermenters using specially selected yeasts. Once fermentation and pressing are complete, each lot is aged separately for 10 months in the finest French oak barrels. Each barrel is evaluated individually and the final selection is made through a lengthy series of tasting trials.
The robe of our 2011 Rosella's is a deep crimson. On the nose we find aromas of candied red cherry fruits along with notes of oak and spice. The palate is very full and complex, exuding flavors of red cherry and berries, accented by notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. This is a beautifully intense wine that will age wonderfully for many years to come.
"This is a really good Pinot Noir that will gain traction in the cellar. The cool vintage conditions show in the acidity and lean framework, but the California sun triumphs with flavors of ripe sour cherries with suggestions of mushrooms and minerals. Dry and complex, it should be better after 2016."
"More serious, edgy and firm, with red and black currants, underbrush and spice aromas and flavors, the 2011 Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard is one of the richer Pinots from this vineyard. Medium to full-bodied, rich and supple, with a great mid-palate, it has plenty of texture, all the while staying beautifully focused. It should have upwards of a decade of longevity. Drink 2014-2021."
The Wine Advocate