Bernardus Winery Red Bordeaux Blend Carmel Valley Marinus 2002
The Marinus Vineyard in upper Carmel Valley is planted with a blend of traditional Bordeaux varieties in separate blocks. These areas were identified as having distinct terroirs. Different planting and growing strategies are used with each block to develop components for blending in the final wine. The 2002 growing season was warm and sunny, but without any of our notorious and dreaded autumn heat-spikes, so Vintners were able to choose their picking days based on perfect ripeness levels. This provided us with an excellent balance of both ripe and bright fruit flavors. As always, our Marinus Vineyard was harvested block-by-block, varietal by varietal, according to ripening patterns over a four-week period. This growing season enabled the grapes to fully ripen with round tannins and moderate alcohol levels. The winery uses the traditional Bordelais method of destemming prior to fermentation and pumping over the tanks two to three times a day. Macerations last from ten to thirty days depending on the character of the grapes. After completing malolactic fermentation the new wine is transferred into small French oak barrels for sixteen months of aging. One half of the barrels are new oak to add dimensions of flavor and texture while respecting the character of the fruit. Complexity and balance of the wine is enhanced by the multiple lots from the different vineyard blocks. The last months before bottling the final blend is held in large oak upright tanks to encourage the integration of flavors. The final blend is: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 28% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot 1% Malbec Case Production: 12,620 (6 packs)
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.
The Wine Spies Say: Mission Codename: The Lap of Luxury Operative: Agent Pinot Personal Objective: Enjoy a day off at the Bernardus Lodge, taste their wines Mission Status: Accomplished Current Winery: Bernardus Wine Subject: 2002 Marinus Winemaker: Dean de Korth and Matthew Shea Agent Pinot Private Journal: Other Agents think I’m self-centered and narcissistic. They can think what they want. I just happen to be the best agent in the Wine Spies and that’s that. When I decide its time for a vacation, I take one but tell Central Command that I’m on a mission. Its easy to fake it when my vacation takes me to the Bernardus Lodge in the beautiful Carmel Valley in Monterey County, California. Bernardus runs this luxurious lodge, but they are, perhaps, more famous for their award-winning wines. Bernardus Winery makes exquisite estate grown wines from grapes grown on their estate in Upper Carmel Valley. Their founding mission was to create wines that rivaled the finest French Bordeaux, wines that “flatter the palate and stimulate the imagination”. Mission accomplished! My first taste of Bernardus Marinus (pronounced mah-ree-nus) came a few years ago. I immediately fell in love with its complexity and its full flavors. When considering a spot for my secret getaway, my choice was easy: Stay at the Bernardus Lodge, realx and drink Marinus. Lot’s and lot’s of it. On arrival at the Bernardus Lodge, I entered through the front gate. Following the drive toward the lodge, perfect vineyards slope gently away. The main building of the lodge looming into view, I feel instantly relaxed. I know that my stay here will be filled with luxury, great food and better wine. I won’t drone on and on about the feather bed, the fireplace or the oversized bathtub in my two-room suite, my daily massages, games of tennis near the vineyards or the fine meals had in their 4-star restaurant, Marinus. Suffice to say, after long days of being pampered and evenings spent sipping their incredible wines, I am revitalized. The 2002 Marinus is a masterpiece and while I was there, I did manage to get my hands on a few cases. Central Command should be pleased with me. Agent Pinot Personal Tasting Profile: Look – Dark plum with ruby highlights Smell – Blueberry, blackberry and cherry dominate the nose, with hints of sweet oak and plum Feel – Big in the mouth, with great complexity and tannins that excite and invite without drying Taste – Deliciously ripe dark-fruit flavored, with jammy black cherry, blackberry, oak and the slightest hint of spice Finish – Big finish with strong and long-lasting flavors that taper off slowly Conclusion – This is a great, elegant and luxurious wine that drinks like a $75 bottle. I love this wine very much and I have cellared several bottles for myself. I enjoy it as a drink-by-itself luxury or as a perfect complement to a fabulous meal with friends and family. Technical Wine Analysis Alcohol: 13.5% Appellation: Carmel Valley, Monterey County, California Winemakers: Dean de Korth and Matthew Shea Grapes: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 28% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot 1% Malbec