Born in Cognac, France and mentored by his father, a régisseur (technical director) at Château Lafite, it would have been have been easy for Bernard Portet to continue his family’s wine tradition in France. Instead, the ninth generation French vintner studied viticulture and enology in Toulouse and Montpellier and then, upon graduation, set out to explore wine regions around the world. A believer that making wine is all about the place, his journey led him to the United States, Australia, Morocco, South Africa and South America. California’s Napa Valley inspired him due to its similarities to some of his favorite wine regions in France. In 1972 Bernard co-founded Clos du Val where he remained for more than 35 years. Bernard is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Napa Valley wine industry. Today, he brings us the wines of Heritance where he continues to make wine using his signature assemblage style. His goal is simple: blend wines from different varieties and terroirs. It is a style that creates uniquely distinctive wines, which showcase Bernard’s extensive Napa Valley experience. He uses assemblage winemaking for Heritance as it has long been his signature style, where he blends different lots of wine to craft a finished wine that is greater than the sum of their parts. The diversity of vineyard and varietal components from various Napa Valley sources provides an ideal opportunity for him to showcase his assemblage style and create uniquely distinctive wines.
It is deep ruby in color with very red undertones. The aromas are fresh and fruity showing more red fruit at the beginning, while blackberry fruit emerges as the wine breathes. The wine is beautifully fragrant, round, soft and graceful with a hint of spice, becoming increasingly more complex and complete as it opens up. The palate is smooth with plenty of fresh fruit up front giving way to a full and rich mouthfeel. With good structure and a solid core, it is very well balanced. The tannins are well integrated. The finish lingers as elements of spices, cherry, currant, tar and leather surface one after the other.