Bernardus Winery

2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir •Rosella's Vineyard

California: Monterey County: Santa Lucia Highlands

Offer Expired:May 06, 2013 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Briefing


Sheer Elegance

After a long hiatus, we are thrilled to welcome back an old time favorite, Bernardus Winery! Their wines are extraordinary - but hard to come by. Production is small and quality is very high, making Bernardus wines highly desirable.

For today’s special offering, we were given access to Bernardus’ cellar and we went straight for the good stuff. Of the wines that were available to us for this special event, we chose the 2009 Bernardus Winery Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, a limited-production, single vineyard delight.

This very highly recommended wine is drinking beautifully, now, with balanced earth and fruit character that delight the nose and palate. Just as delightful is the elegant with silky and supple mouthfeel. This is a wine to take ones time with, allowing your senses to take in each distinctly different component.

Tasting Profile


Deep and dark and beautiful with deepest black cherry juice hues. At the edge of the glass, ruby highlights catch the light.


Lush and layered with dusty dark cherry, forest floor, smoky pomegranate, baked spiced apple, dark plum and black cherry and supple leather.


Bold and dark, this wine beautifully balances earth and dark fruit. Also velvety and smooth, this wine exudes lush flavors of black cherry, blackberry candy, cassis, hard dried leather and a hint of black pepper.


Elegant and lingering, the wine dries the palate at the edges. This gives the wine a unique quality that is at once silky and leathery. At the very end of the finish, the mouth pickers nicely, indicating that this wine will be an excellent and elegant companion for a wide range of foods.


For the ultimate culinary delight, pair this wine with pork loin in a cherry reduction.

What the Winery Says

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 planted with clone 777, Pommard clone and the celebrated Pisoni clone.

Each block is monitored for ripeness individually 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 final blend was bottled in August, 2010.

The 2009 vintage is showing beautifully, with bright fruit aromas and full, expressive flavors. Our 2009 Rosella’s Pinot Noir is a great example of this. In the glass the wine shows a classic deep ruby color. The exquisite aromas exude scents of ripe plum and red cherry accented with spices and notes of toasty oak. In the mouth the flavors are full and beautifully focused with a rich, silky texture and a long concentrated finish. This superb Pinot will age gracefully for several years to come.

September 9th and 14th.
Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
Sirugue, Cadus, Remond, Damy and Billon. 100% Burgundian; 40% new.
347 cases
Release Date
September 1, 2011

About the Winery

Owner Ben 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.

Of the 220 acres, 50 acres have been planted to vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Bernardus ventures forth as the fifth winery to establish vineyards in this sacred valley. While growing Bordeaux-style varieties in our estate vineyards, at Bernardus we are committed to cultivating Chardonnay in cool coastal climates, specifically the Monterey County growing region. Grapes from other superior coastal appellations in California are used to add nuances to the Bernardus blend. The vineyard components are then complemented by many different yeasts and oaks during the winemaking procedure.

Winemaker Dean DeKorth integrates his experience working with the methods and practices of Bernardus winemaking with his own personal intuition and technical expertise. Dean DeKorth, an American, is a French winemaker—all of his early impressions about wine came from his education and apprenticeship in France. A very important part of Dean’s Burgundian training was focused on distinguishing aromas and flavor qualities, as well as textural elements in the wine. With this old-world sense of taste, Dean seeks to make wines that flatter the palate. A viticulturalist, enologist, scholar, craftsman, and artist, Dean KeKorth brings to his winemaking a time-honored knowledge of wine and an endless passion –­ a passion labeled Bernardus.

At Bernardus the textural element-“the mouth feel’-is the most important expression of wine.

At a time when there is an increasing conversion of established French wine estates from seasoned wooden tanks to rows of stainless steel, Bernardus Winery was constructed to create traditional wines. Wines are aged in oak tanks and barrels specially crafted for Bernardus in the French region of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Oak is purchased from many coopers in France to allow for blending of different flavors, or “the spice rack approach”.

It is the goal of Ben Pon to create wines from the promising viticultural region of Carmel Valley that will rival in style and quality the finest traditional wines. With an unequaled commitment and the resources and talent to support this commitment, Bernardus is embarking upon the next frontier in American winemaking.

Offer Expired:May 06, 2013 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price
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