The last bottle that I pulled out of the carton from my wine club “A Taste of Monterey” made me smile. On one of our trips to Carmel-by-the-Sea we had the pleasure of going to Bernardus Lodge and Spa in Carmel Valley. We were treated like royalty while we were there, especially in the wine tasting room and at the Marinus Restaurant. We stocked up that day, and we have since bought more courtesy of our wine club.
Bernardus Winery and Vineyards was founded by Ben Marinus Pon about twenty-five years ago with the intention of creating premier wines in the Carmel Valley. His intent was to produce single vineyard designated wines and a Bordeaux blended wine. Bernardus has three estate vineyards: Marinus planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec; Featherbow planted with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon; and Ingrid’s Vineyard planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. All fifty-four acres of estate vineyards are in the Carmel Valley AVA. To compliment the estate vineyards Bernardus also has contracts with vineyards the Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands and others in the Monterey County.
The Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 is a single vineyard designated wine from the Santa Lucia Highlands, which in my humble opinion is one of the best Burgundian districts in California and to date, I haven’t had a mediocre Chardonnay or Pinot Noir from this AVA. Soberanes Vineyard is a joint venture of two famed growers Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni in the Santa Lucia Highlands. There were no winemaker’s notes about this wine or production numbers, other than an aging potential of five to six years. The tasting notes state “fresh, ripe white fruits along with subtle toasty oak notes. Typical of this fine vineyard, the palate is very intense, with bright ripe fruit flavors supported by a rich, crisp finish.” I feel confident that we will be extremely happy with this wine, when it comes time to open it.