Carmel Valley — south of the Bay Area in Monterey County, California — may sound more like a tourist haven than wine country, but the region is home to Bernardus Winery. Here, Dutchman Ben Pon is determined to make fine wines in the image of a great Bordeaux.
Marinus (Chairman’s Selection, $18.99), Bernardus’ flagship estate wine, is made with only classic Bordeaux grapes. It combines the restraint and complexity of European wines with the ripe, black-fruit qualities of California grapes.
Packed with flavors like blackcurrant and dark chocolate, hard toffee and shaved cedar, Marinus pairs naturally with rich foods like aged Italian Piave cheese or a decadent butter-seared New York strip.