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Bernardus Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WS91
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Gary Pisoni is the iconic grower whose Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir has brought worldwide attention to the Santa Lucia Highlands. Planted with renowned "Pisoni clone", this unique vineyard produces amazing Pinots which can rival the best red Burgundies. We are particularly honored to be among the select few to receive fruit from Gary Pisoni.

All our grapes are hand picked and sorted at the winery for maximum quality. They are destemmed and gently pumped into small fermenters, each with a different yeast, and hand punched two to three times each day in order to extract every bit of flavor. Once fermentation and pressing were complete, the wines are aged in French oak barrels for ten months before final blending and bottling.

2011 was mild to cool throughout the ripening season providing us with an elegant rendition of this fabulous vineyard. The robe is a beautiful crimson-red. Aromas show bright notes of red cherry and cranberry along with hints of spice. The flavors are full of juicy red fruits, along with spicy notes. With its crisp acidity and tannic structure, this is reminiscent of a great Burgundy and will age beautifully for many years in a proper cellar.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Bright acidity brings a mouthwatering tanginess to flavors of ripe raspberry, cherry, cranberry and mushroom in this dry, low-production wine. It’s so easy to drink now, you might not notice the complexities, but they're there. This is a wine to age. Give it 5–7 years at least, although it's likely to be sailing along beautifully in 2021.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The most complete of the Pinot Noirs, the 2011 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard is a deep, layered 2011 that yields notions of underbrush, red currants, crushed flowers and salty minerality that flow to a beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied Pinot Noir. While accessible now, the mid-palate depth, balance and overall broad frame should allow it to evolve gracefully. Drink 2014-2021.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Perfumed wilted rose, red and dark plum, red candy and subtle spice notes give this a pleasing mix of flavors. The texture is supple yet firm, gaining length. Drink now through 2020.
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Bernardus

Bernardus

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Bernardus, 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.

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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.

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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).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of 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 Secrets for Pinot Noir

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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

SWS356072_2011 Item# 131979

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