Rosella’s Vineyard - Santa Lucia Highlands ‘Grand Cru’
After honing his winemaking toolkit with stints at legendary Burgundy producers Leflaive, Lafon, and Morey, Dean De Korth returned home to Monterey County in the nineties with an enviable C.V. and the determination to make world-class wine on the Central Coast. Growers Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni also saw the potential of the region, planting Pinot Noir as early as 1982. Prescient though they were, it’s hard to believe that even these visionaries could imagine what would come next.
In the last five years, the reputation of the Santa Lucia Highlands has exploded, and superstar wineries from all over California — names like Kosta Browne, Siduri, and Loring — now flock to the SLH for Burgundy varietals that slowly ripen to perfection in fog-shrouded vineyards. Of all the pristine sites, no grapes are in more demand, or fetch higher prices, than those from the “Holy Trinity” of SLH vineyards: Garys’, Pisoni, and Rosella’s.
You don’t need to read Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate to know Rosella’s Vineyard is a “first-rate site” of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Overlooking the Salinas River Valley from the west, Rosella’s enjoys the cooling influence of the Pacific breezes blowing across the benchlands of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range down from Monterey Bay. These cooling and drying winds allow for gentle ripening and protection from disease. Vintage after vintage, the meticulously managed vineyard yields uber-lush, full-throttle Pinot that garners high scores from The Wine Advocate and Vinous.
The 2013 season produced what Wine Advocate predicted “might just be the finest wines yet from this windy, cool, and sunny region.” Singling out the Bernardus Rosella’s Vineyard, the Advocate called it “classic Pinot Noir… that will have a decade or more of overall longevity.” Antonio Galloni’s Vinous tacked on a 92-point score, impressed by the “very suave blend of depth and vivacity” of the 2013 Bernardus, which “finishes impressively long, with lingering florality and harmonious tannins.”
Bold, spicy and voluptuous, the 2013 Bernardus Pinot Noir showcases what’s so extraordinary about the fruit coming off Rosella’s Vineyard. A heady nose of mushroom, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon spice. Intensely concentrated on the attack with lush strawberry, black cherry, and cranberry fruit. Hints of citrus and morels hit mid-palate, with a woodsy, earth-driven finish that picks up the French oak. Drink now at this beautiful point in its evolution or watch it transform for another 5 years.
$65 on release. A sizzling $29.99 today, the best price in the USA ONLY on WineAccess. Dean De Korth’s luscious Pinot off Rosella’s Vineyard stands tall next to Kosta Browne, ROAR, and Siduri at a fraction of the cost. Apologies in advance to those too slow on the draw to secure a case of our tiny 250 case allocation.