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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

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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 brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable 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 finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

SWS357702_2011 Item# 131981