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Bernardus Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • WW92
14.2% ABV
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4.2 16 Ratings
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4.2 16 Ratings
14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The famous Garys' Vineyard was planted with the celebrated "Pisoni clone" by the two iconic growers of the Santa Lucia Highlands: Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni. Together they have brought worldwide attention to this unique appellation for the exceptional quality of its Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. We at Bernardus are thrilled to be among the few who have access to these superb Pinot grapes.

At Bernardus all the grapes are hand-picked and sorted at the winery to maximize quality. The Pinot grapes are then destemmed and gently pumped into small fermenters where they are hand punched twice daily. Once fermentation is complete, the finished wine is aged in French oak for 10 months before final blending and bottling.

The 2011 Garys' Pinot Noir exhibits a medium red robe, with classic aromas of red fruits and earthy notes reminiscent of fine Burgundies. The palate is rich and full-bodied with flavors of candied red fruits and oak spice supported by a velvety finish. This fine wine will age for several years to come.

Region

California > Central Coast > Monterey > Santa Lucia Highlands

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Simply pinpoint from start to finish, the savory 2011 Bernardus Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir plays in the Old World camp and does not fall prey to the so-called modern style of the extracted, super ripe versions in the marketplace. Yes, this is the real deal and made for true wine and food lovers. I am so happy when producers stay true to the varietal and this exactly what Bernardus has done with this one. Medium garnet color; intense, rich savory aroma, some brown stems and wild red fruits, excellent persistence; medium bodied, firm and well built on the palate; dry, nice acidity, well balanced; red fruit flavors, some chalkiness; medium finish, wild, savory aftertaste. Drinking supremely at the moment, I pair the one with a lightly spice yet savory lamb stew. (Tasted: September 4, 2014, San Francisco, CA)
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Bernardus

Bernardus

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Bernardus, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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The focus of Bernardus is to create wines that flatter the palate and stimulate the imagination. Our Marinus Estate Bordeaux-style red wine is the centerpiece of owner Ben Pon's dream. It is complemented by Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from cool coastal climate vineyards. We also offer limited bottlings of small production and vineyard designate wines, which are available exclusively through the tasting room and wine club... taste a dream.

Pon appreciates wine as an art-- a form of art that transcends the ordinary. His dream with Bernardus is to make a red wine equal to the finest from Bordeaux. To achieve this purpose, Ben, a Dutchman who could have planted vineyards anywhere in the world, has chosen the Carmel Valley for his estate vineyards and winery. Since the early 1970's, there has been a growing awareness of the outstanding potential for Bordeaux varieties from this new viticultural appellation. The Bernardus estate vineyards of Marinus and Featherbow Ranch are located in the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley. We have been told that Cachagua is the Spanish word Native Americans used for deep or hidden water. It has been said that Native Americans believed that all things in nature were sacred and interrelated. Their respect for balance in nature is carried on in the vineyards of Bernardus. More than 300 live oaks have been preserved to thrive among carefully planted vines.

Santa Lucia Highlands

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Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and bracing afternoon breezes. This allows grapes to ripen slowly and fully, resulting in concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on “green” viticultural practices.

The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

SWS357702_2011 Item# 131981