Answers from Our Experts (1)
Though Bernardus Winery’s staff is quite unassuming, its balanced and complex Carmel Valley wines have won accolades and honors ever since the winery was established in 1990. A hallway is adorned with a letter acknowledging that the Bernardus 1995 chardonnay was served at a 1997 performance of Gladys Knight at the Clinton White House. President George W. Bush’s administration featured the Bernardus 1997 chardonnay at a Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery event in 2000. Influential wine critic Robert Parker Jr. is a fan of the Bernardus wines; after tasting the 2009 vintages, he gave the Sierra Mar chardonnay 91 points, and both the Rosella and Pisoni pinot noirs a score of 93. Wine Spectator magazine also ranked the Sierra Mar 91 points, while Wine Enthusiast gave Rosella Chardonnay 92. And the local newspaper, The Carmel Pine Cone, rated the Bernardus Winery tasting room as the most friendly of more than two dozen on the peninsula. Wine Enthusiast magazine selected the entire Monterey County region as one of the world’s top wine destinations — Napa and Sonoma didn’t make the list. Whether wine scores matter to you or not, the high ratings for Bernardus wines signal that they’re worth tasting.