Yep, that’s all I had. Truth be told I was there overnight, driving in one day and out the next, so I could only see myself safely tasting after someone else took over the wheel.
Lots of peeps gave lots of suggestions but once we found Bernardus in Carmel Valley, we never made it back out again until practically dinner time…or should I say a wine-induced nap time before dinner?
(Note: I thoroughly enjoyed a Hahn Chardonnay at the A.W. Shucks oyster bar in Carmel and really wanted to make it to the winery. It looked to be a 90 minute drive from Bernardus so we couldn’t swing it. But, after tweeting the photo of my lunch, Hahn retweeted it and then messaged me that samples were on their way. So, I hope to give them my full attention in another review. http://www.hahnestates.com )
Greeted by affable assistant tasting room manager Philip Carruthers, we soon began working our way, oh-so-pleasantly, through over a dozen wines. As there were many people coming and going, my notes below are brief. The first wine listed, sans notes, I liked but didn’t have time to make specific notes for!
11 Monterey County Sauvignon Blanc
Eve was “too busy” with shenanigans to make proper notes…
10 Monterey County Chardonnay
Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, apples with a nice buttery smooth palate. Wanted that one.
09 Chardonnay, Griva Vineyard
Surprising aromas of nutmeg and a flintiness that was covered with buttered popcorn, and then a taste of cucumber and lime…the second to get noted for purchase.
09 Chardonnay, Sierra Mar Vineyard
Beurre blanc on the nose and then cinnamon and pear in the mouth in a very smooth balance, my purchases had grown to three…
09 Monterey County Pinot Noir
The brightest of cherries and a hint of mint on the nose was followed by light and delicate red fruit in the taste.
09 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands
Nice smokiness, blueberries and dark chocolate rushed up to meet my nose while on the mouth I got plums, black pepper, oak and cigar. My take-home box was filling up.
09 Pinot Noir, Pisoni Vineyard
Black pepper and both red and black fruit on the nose, then a taste of dark fruit, wet stone, smoke and a nice dry finish. Pricey, but oh-so-worth-it.
08 Pinot Noir, Ingrid’s Vineyard
Wafting up to greet me were odors of mushroom and chocolate, but before I could linger I was tasting bright red cherries that descended into a long, dry finish. Had to have it!
06 Marinus Estate Bordeaux Blend
Wow, can you say “buttery roast beef”? I can and I did, as that’s what I got on the nose. The taste was all ripe fruits, bone dry with a finish of white pepper.
07 Marinus Estate Bordeaux Blend
My notes look like I wrote red fruit, mint and…dang…something that might say raspberry. Sorry folks, long day. On the mouth I got dark fruit, a dry smokiness with a medium finish.
06 Signature Marinus Estate Bordeaux Blend
Somewhat vegetal on the nose with nuances of green peppercorn, chocolate and dark fruit. The taste included red to blue fruits, cigar, bark, and was very palate drying.
94 Marinus Estate Bordeaux Blend
Again, like the 06 I got a gaminess on the nose. This time I though I got veal reduction sauce, forest floor and slight medicinal qualities. Then, on the mouth, I tasted dark plums, deep tannins and some leather.
From Bernardus Website
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 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.
Bernardus Vine yards & Winery 800-223-2533, 5 West Carmel Valley Road Carmel Valley, CA 93924, http://www.bernardus.com/