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.
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.
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.
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.