Rare Bernardus Rosella’s Vineyard Bottling
Until now, the newly-released 2016 Bernardus Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands Rosella’s Vineyard was only available through the winery’s wine club. We’re the first-to-market on this 92-point perennial favorite, which is sourced from Santa Lucia Highlands’ legendary Rosella’s Vineyard — a “first-rate site” of according to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. All the skill of winemaker Dean DeKorth, who brings Meursault-like quality and richness to his native Monterey, is on display in this tremendous 2016 effort, boasting gorgeous breadth, citrus, and toasted notes. It is a bottling we haven’t offered since the 2009 vintage! $50 from the winery — today, $29.99 on this first-to-market release.
Bernardus winemaker Dean De Korth carries a lot of credibility with Wine Access clients. It’s not just his the pedigree — his stints at Leflaive, Lafon, and Morey in Burgundy — but his performance and track record of producing stellar Burgundy-style wines on the California coast means Wine Access clients know the terrific quality-to-price value from every Bernardus bottle.
The 2016 Bernardus Chardonnay from Rosella’s Vineyard is a case in point. De Korth scores fruit from superstar grower Gary Franscioni’s meticulously-tended Rosella’s Vineyard every vintage, but sometimes there’s not enough to go around. This marks the first time since the 2009 vintage that we have had the privilege of offering a De Korth-crafted, vineyard-designate Chardonnay from this stellar plot.
Rosella’s Vineyard is on the west side of the Salinas River Valley, where the cooling and cleansing breezes blow across the benchlands of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range from Monterey Bay. The vines are blanketed by morning fog which burns off by the late morning.
These conditions, along with the poor, sandy loam soils and Franscioni’s farming protocol combine to create what Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate calls a “first-rate site” of Santa Lucia Highlands: one that supplied with fruit for what De Korth called “rich, well-structured and opulent” Chardonnay.
Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access