Project Description

BERNARDO SHIRAZ

Bernardo is dedicated to the memory of wine maker Angelo De Fazio’s grandfather, whose traditional, sustainable land management practices are still used in the De Fazio Vineyard today.

Bernardo is sourced from two vineyard blocks on the De Fazio property. The Shiraz from the blocks are open-top fermented, traidtionally pressed and matured in new and seasoned French Oak barrels for two years, prior to bottling, unfined and unfiltered.

Bernardo is an intense, powerful and full-bodied wine exhibiting dense, classic North Western Barossa Shiraz characters. It is a sophisticated wine that can be enjoyed on release, but is also worthy of cellaring, which will further soften the structure of the wine and reveal additional layers of complexity.

VINTAGES

GROWING SEASON


The 2017 season was stunning. The vines got off to a fantastic start with a wetter than average Winter and mild Spring. Summer brought typically average warm conditions with some excellent rainfall, twice the average. This kept the vines in superb condition for steady ripening into Autumn which remained dry with warm sunny days and cool nights. Yields from 2017 are good and quality is exceptional.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The 2017 Bernardo Shiraz was harvested between the 14th & 22nd of March, and the grapes gently de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for eight to ten days on skins, were hand pump overs twice daily. The must was traditionally pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads, where it completed fermentation and matured for 24 months prior to bottling.

TASTING NOTES


2017 Bernardo Shiraz is rich in colour. The aroma is abundant and uplifting. Intense perfume of Christmas cake, blackberries, violets, rosemary and cedar oak. It leaves no doubt a serious wine awaits. The palate is unmistakable Barossa Valley Shiraz. It is rich and robust with full-bodied flavours of black plum, chocolate and a hint of vanilla bean. Whilst powerful, there is an inherent poise and balance. Tannins are prevalent but perfectly in balance adding firm structure to the dark plush fruit. Oak is evident though aptly supportive and not dominant. The length is strikingly persistent completing this complex wine. This Bernardo Shiraz can be enjoyed now but will cellar for a decade or more.

GROWING SEASON


2016 was hot and dry resulting in grapes ripening earlier than average. Winter and Spring rainfall was down by 38% whilst growing season temperatures were up by 3 degrees. Some welcome rain came at the end of January refreshing the vines and giving them good moisture to ripen to maturity. Yields from 2016 are solid and importantly quality is stunning. 2016 is certainly a star vintage with bright intense wines of great flavour intensity and inherent balance.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The 2016 Bernardo Shiraz was harvested between the 10th & 19th of March, and the grapes gently de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for eight to ten days on skins, were hand pump overs twice daily. The must was traditionally pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads, where it completed fermentation and matured for 24 months prior to bottling.

TASTING NOTES


2016 Bernardo Shiraz is inky purple-black in colour. The aroma is intense and immediately evokes a serious wine. There are lashings of black fruit, dark chocolate and cranberry complemented with dried herbs, violets and French oak. The palate is concentrated, full-bodied and oozes power but at the same time is beautifully balanced. Mouth-filling with generous flavours of rich dark fruits combined with integrated and subtle barrel ferment complexities. This is a well integrated Shiraz of stature and superbly proportioned. The natural tannins are fine and polished adding a muscular structure and definitive line. Bernardo is densely packed, very layered, harmonious and is completed with a dry lingering finish. This Shiraz can be enjoyed now but will cellar for a decade or more.

GROWING SEASON


2015 produced excellent wines. It began with a wet Winter followed by a very dry growing season with less than half the average rainfall. Spring was warmer than average leading to an earlier bud burst and early vintage. Summer brought average temperatures, ensuring the dry conditions were not stressful to the vines, and a slow even ripening ensued. Quality is brilliant, certainly one of the highlights in recent years.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The 2015 Bernardo Shiraz was harvested between the 7th & 15th of March, and the grapes gently de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for eight to ten days on skins, were hand pump overs twice daily. The must was traditionally pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads, where it completed fermentation and matured for 24 months prior to bottling.

TASTING NOTES


2015 Bernardo Shiraz is thick purple-black in colour. Impressive and alluring. There are initial aromas of blackberry, and fruit cake. Then musk spice emerges along with chocolate and a hint of sweet tobacco. The palate is charming. It is faultless with impeccable balance of fruit, tannin and oak. Rich dark fruits lead the way with dusty oak adding support and a fine backbone of natural tannin meshing the layers together with continuity. Right to the end this wine entertains, with a lengthy, almost perpetual finish. Bernardo Shiraz can be enjoyed now but will cellar for a decade or more.

GROWING SEASON


2014 was an excellent year. The wines from 2014 are strong with deep and vibrant colour, excellent fruit definition and solid but integrated tannin structure ensuring longevity for the wines. The 2014 growing season began with slightly above average Winter rainfall however Spring and early Summer were very dry with 40% less rain than normal. Temperatures were also up with the Spring/Summer growing season being an average of 2 degrees C warmer. However, this dry and warm season changed dramatically in mid February with 100mm of rain falling, the wettest February day in 45 years. The rain slowed the ripening of the grapes considerably, but average mild temperatures followed in March (25.7 degrees C) which ensured good flavour and moderate sugar development producing outstanding quality.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The 2014 Bernardo Shiraz was harvested between the 5th & 12th of March, and the grapes gently de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for eight to ten days on skins, were hand pump overs twice daily. The must was traditionally pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads, where it completed fermentation and matured for 24 months prior to bottling.

TASTING NOTES


2014 Bernardo Shiraz is opaque purple-black in colour. Very aromatic and inviting, the bouquet displays a complexity of characters including ripe black plum, dark Cherry, licorice, and blackcurrant. The rich, full-bodied palate shows immense concentration with plenty of depth. Dark sweet fruit dominate with toasty oak in support. The natural tannins are lightly grippy but very fine adding structure to support the powerful fruit. With layers of complexity this is a very pure but sophisticated wine of great equilibrium that is completed by a solid lingering finish. Bernard is complex Barossa Valley Shiraz that has a long cellaring future.

GROWING SEASON


2013 was a great quality year. However, yields were very low as a result of a very dry season, with less than half the normal growing season rainfall. It was also warmer than average with the dry and warm conditions resulting in vintage being three weeks earlier than normal. Importantly though, quality was amazing. Wines are rich, mouth filling and extremely lengthy.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The 2013 Bernardo Shiraz was harvested between the 9th & 14th of March, and the grapes gently de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for eight to ten days on skins, were hand pump overs twice daily. The must was traditionally pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads, where it completed fermentation and matured for 24 months prior to bottling.

TASTING NOTES


2013 Bernardo Shiraz is deep crimson red in colour. The aroma is big and inviting with intense black fruit, Christmas cake, anise, blackberry, mulberry and Cinnamon spice layered with toasty vanilla oak The palate displays an initial broad richness of fruit. It is full-bodied, mouth filling, generous with plush black fruits and plenty of weight. There is intense dry dusty tannin adding structure and backbone. A pleasant streak of taught acidity gives it a fantastic cohesion at such a young age. Oak is tightly wound into the fruit adding complexity. A dry lingering finish completes a solid wine that is worthy of cellaring for a decade or two.

GROWING SEASON


Vintage 2012 was a fantastic year. The wines from 2012 are outstanding and up there with 2010 and a good vintage to have in the cellar. Vintage 2012 began with a good growing season of moderate rainfall and normal temperatures. Summer and Autumn were perfect with generally warm sunny days and only a few heat periods but nothing extreme. The weather was generally dry with an occasional shower of rain refreshing the vines and keeping things fresh. The perfect mid-high 20s weather ensured the grapes ripened steadily and evenly producing outstanding quality.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The 2012 Greenock Shiraz was harvested in two picks 1st & 8th March, and the grapes gently de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for eight to nine days on skins, with hand plunging during the first 3 days and hand pump-overs twice daily. The must was traditionally basket-pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French oak hogsheads, where it completed fermentation and matured for 24 months prior to bottling without fining or filtration.

TASTING NOTES


2012 Bernard Shiraz is deep purple-black in colour. Immediately evoking a serious wine, the aroma is intense and lifted with prominent dark fruit, nutmeg, black cherry, fruit cake and chocolate. The palate is full bodied and concentrated. Generous and mouth filling flavours of pristine black fruits dominate together with subtle barrel ferment complexities. Tannins are solid but polished adding a muscular structure. This is a very layered wine, with intensity, complexity and detail. Densely and richly packed, Bernardo is completed by a smooth lingering finish. This is a sophisticated wine that can be drunk on release and is worthy of cellaring for many years.

GROWING SEASON


Vintage 2011 was the wettest growing season the Barossa has experienced for decades, with double the normal rainfall. It was also much cooler, resulting in a longer ripening process and vintage being about three weeks later than normal. However, once vintage began in mid March, April was dry and warm with fantastic ripening conditions to give a perfect finish to the vintage.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The grapes for the 2011 Bernardo Shiraz were picked in separate batches over a period of seven days from March 1st to 8th. All grapes came from two individual De Fazio Vineyard blocks. After picking, the grapes were de-stemmed into open-top fermenters. Each batch was fermented warm with hand pump-overs twice dialy for an average ferment time of eight to 10 days prior to traditional basket pressing. After pressing off skins, the wines were filled into a combination of seasoned American and French oak hogsheads. The wines completed primary fermentation and underwent natural malolactic fermentation in-barrel. The wine was matured in-barrel for 24 months prior to bottling without fining or filtration.

TASTING NOTES


2011 Bernardo Shiraz is deep red-black in colour. The inviting bouquet exudes characters of red rose perfume, cherry, cinnamon spice, plum, blackberry and clove. The full-bodied palate delivers both red and black fruits, complemented with a hint of vanilla and underlying pepper spice, as well as subtle background oak. Natural tannins are fine and beautifully integrated, adding depth and a firm structure. Well balanced, this harmonious wine finishes with lingering fruit purity. Bernardo is a complex North Barossa Shiraz that will reward careful cellaring.

GROWING SEASON


2010 was an outstanding vintage – one of the best of the decade. Yields were about average across the vineyard, although slightly lower for blocks on hard ground. These blocks, however, produced extremely good fruit, with berries staining hands just from handling them. It was a steady vintage with ideal warm Autumn days and cool nights. Fruit ripened perfectly, was picked at optimum time and brilliant wine has resulted. Truly a standout vintage.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The grapes for the 2010 Bernardo were picked in separate batches over a period of 10 days from March 10th to 20th. All grapes come from two De Fazio Vineyard blocks. After picking, the grapes were de-stemmed into open-top fermenters. Each batch was fermented warm with hand pump-overs twice daily for an average ferment time of 10 days prior to pressing. After traditional basket-pressing off skins, the wines were filled into a combination of seasoned American and French oak hogsheads. The wines completed primary fermentation and underwent natural malolactic fermentation in-barrel. The wine was matured in-barrel for 24 months prior to bottling without fining or filtration.

TASTING NOTES


2010 Bernardo Shiraz is dark purple-black in colour. The bouquet is extremely vibrant, with aromas of dark roses, plum cake, black cherry, roast, sweet tobacco and a touch of savoury spice. The palate is full-bodied and very generous. Vibrant dark fruits and subtle barrel nuances fill the palate. Natural tannins are fine, stylish and well integrated, adding structure. The wine is very harmonious, with bountiful flavour combined with refinement and class. The wine finishes with beautiful, pure fruit intensity that lingers for a long time. Bernardo is a complex North Barossa Shiraz that will reward careful cellaring.

GROWING SEASON


2009 was a brilliant vintage, with ideal ripening conditions, great quality and moderate yields. The growing season started cooler than average and was followed by a short heat period in late January and early February to push the grapes along, before perfect Autumnal weather (mid-to-high 20s) prevailed for the remaining vintage. Rainfall during the growing season was also perfect, with just enough rain to maintain vines in excellent condition. Overall a great vintage.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The grapes were picked in separate batches over eight days from February 29th to March 7th. All grapes come from two individual De Fazio Vineyard blocks. After picking, the grapes were de-stemmed into open-top fermenters. Each batch was fermented warm with hand pump-overs twice daily for seven to 10 days on skins, prior to traditional basket pressing. After pressing off skins, the wines were filled to a combination of seasoned American and French oak hogsheads. The wines completed primary fermentation and underwent natural malolactic fermentation in-barrel. The wine was matured in-barrel for 24 months prior to bottling.

TASTING NOTES


2009 Bernardo Shiraz  is deep purple-black in colour. Bright and lifted, the bouquet displays characters of blackberry, cherry, fruit spice, plum, mocha and dark chocolate. These ripe black fruit flavours continue to the powerfully flavoured full-bodied palate. Driven by intense fruit purity, the palate is complemented with subtle oak-barrel characters. Natural tannins are fine, adding backbone structure to support the fruit. With layers of complexity, this is a very pure but sophisticated wine of great balance that is completed by a solid lingering finish. Bernardo is a complex North Barossa shiraz that has a long cellaring future.

GROWING SEASON


2008 was an extremely hot and dry vintage. There were superb ripening conditions until March when the Barossa experienced its biggest heatwave of all time with 15 days in a row over 35 degrees celcius. Fortunately, the majority of the grapes were harvested by this time so were not overtly affected. Overall 2008 is a very good vintage, with average yields and great quality.

VINEYARD


Bernardo Shiraz is sourced from two blocks on the De Fazio Vineyard. The main block has alluvial soils containing rounded pebbles mixed in red clay and limestone. This block is the remains of an ancient riverbed that runs through the middle of the property. The second block is situated in the north end of the vineyard and consists of red clay over slate and bluestone that provides a challenge for the vine roots to penetrate. Low yielding, the vines on this block produce small, tight bunches that have intense flavour and colour.

WINE MAKING


The Shiraz vines were harvested between February 28th and March 10th and the grapes gently de-stemmed into open-top fermenters. The grapes were fermented for 8-9 days on skins where hand pump-overs were employed twice daily. The must was traditionally pressed and immediately filled to new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads where it completed fermentation. The wine was matured in hogsheads for 24 months prior to bottling. Bernardo Shiraz is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

TASTING NOTES


Bernardo Shiraz 2008 is deep red-black in colour. The aroma is powerful and inviting with notes of black cherry, fruit cake, milk chocolate, sweet spice, black olive and pepper. The palate is full-bodied with generous flavours of red and black berries and plum together with chocolate, coffee and spice complemented by subtle barrel characters. Tannins are prominent but rounded and well integrated, adding solid structure. Layered and complex, Bernardo is completed by a dry lingering finish. This is a sophisticated wine that is worthy of cellaring for many years.

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