The Bernard Series was named after Bernard Podlashuk, visionary co-founder of the Bellingham brand and maverick winemaker. Never quite satisfied to be just ordinary, he is recognised for his daring vision, sheer audacity and unabated drive that helped place South African wine on the map. The legend of his tenacity and innovative flair lives on through the Bernard series, Bellingham’s premium range of hand-crafted wines.
The Shiraz grapes were hand-picked from two vineyard blocks yielding 4-8 tons per hectare individually. The trellised vines grow on deep well-drained soils of decomposed granite. Harvested by hand in mid-season at perfect ripeness. These high-lying vineyards yield grapes with spicy, red fruit flavours. The Viognier grapes were hand-picked from a five-year-old very low yielding vineyard.
Bunch and berry selection took place on arrival at the cellar before being crushed and fermented together with the Viognier. Natural co-fermentation took place in open 500 L French oak barrels before a gentle pressing in a basket press. The young wine was returned to the French oak barriques where malolactic fermentation was completed and a further 12 months maturation followed before bottling.
A powerful aromatic wine that is assertive yet delicate and refined, with ample cracked black and white pepper spice, hints of rich dark chocolate against a substantial red berry fruit foundation tinged with subtle floral suggestions of violets and dried indigenous fynbos. A generously structured wine with ripe tannins that promises further integration and complexity on cellar maturation for up to 10 years. This wine is particularly recommended with full flavoured dishes like roast venison, aged fillet and rump steaks, spicy sausages or confit of duck.