Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2006
Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, California
The 2006 Dierberg Pinot Noir has proven to be somewhat atypical and is a departure from our big, burly house style. The wine exhibits the "sauvage" sage-like note that has come to define the wines from our vineyard, but envelops it in a more elegant frame. It is a sublime and classy wine, with delicate aromas of tea leaf, raspberry and forest floor and a sneaky structural component that keeps it firm and age worthy. The wine is perhaps more Audrey Hepburn than Brigitte Bardot in style. Enjoy this lithe and beautiful wine now with simply flavored food, or age for as many as 10 years to enhance the sage and forest floor notes that characterize the vintage.
PinotReport - "Medium ruby color; deep, spicy, red cherry aromas with some lavender notes; ripe, rich deep cherry and spice flavors; herbal, lavender notes, complex and interesting; good structure and balance, long finish. Subtle, spice and herbal notes make this a very interesting Pinot to drink. Nice balance makes it a good player on the table as well."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Sweet, optimally ripened, cherry-like fruit is accented with deft touches of milk chocolate, flowers and sweet spice throughout the considerable length of this concentrated and keenly focused young Pinot, and, if very well-balanced and so showy as to beg early drinking, this fleshy wine is built with a fine spine of silky tannins that bodes quite well for age. Drink it now if you must with the likes of a rare rack of lamb, but we are planning to set a few bottles aside for three or four years and suggest that you do the same thing."
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid red. Suave, spicy aromas of raspberry, candied cherry and smoky minerals, with a touch of white pepper adding complexity. Smooth in texture, with deep red berry preserve flavors framed by velvety tannins. Gains weight with air and finishes with deeper dark fruit qualities and lingering spiciness. Highly alluring and emphatically New World in style; this will work well with spicy or smoky foods."
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Dierberg Estate Vineyards lie very close to the Pacific Ocean in California's Central Coast wine region. The vineyards provide both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Dierberg Estate wines. In 1997, Mary and Jim Dierberg planted the first vineyard near the town of Santa Maria. Seven years later, they planted a second vineyard in what is known as Drum Canyon, south of Santa Maria, in the Santa Rita Hills. Our coastal environment provides a combination of sunny days, maritime breezes and well drained soils, perfectly suited to cool climate viticulture.
The Central Coast's cool-weather terroir is exemplified at the two estate vineyards that provide Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Dierberg Estate: the original Dierberg Vineyard in Santa Maria - planted in 1997 - and the newer Drum Canyon vineyard located farther to the south in the Santa Rita Hills. In both vineyards, cooling Pacific Ocean fog and breezes keep this sunny corner of California far cooler than one would imagine. This phenomenon favors crisp acidity and gentle ripening in classic Burgundian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Dierberg's 160-acre vineyard outside the town of Santa Maria, and just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean, is planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It lies at the southern end of the Santa Maria Valley and is graced with gentle hillside slopes, sandy loam soils and western exposures. About one third of the vineyard is planted to Chardonnay, with the rest planted to Pinot Noir. View all Dierberg Wines
About Santa Maria Valley
Situated near the ocean in the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley appellation runs east to west. Pacific Ocean air funnels in to cool the vineyards, allowing the grapes to evenly ripen and reach their full potential. This unique climate paired with the region's well-drained soils helps create some sought-after grapes.
Notable FactsPinot Noir and Chardonnay are the most planted varieties in the AVA, which covers over 7,000 acres of land. Syrah is gaining more ground as it consistantly produces outstanding wines. Many vineyards are owned by growers and sold to wineries, so seeing a vineyard name on multiple producer's bottles is common. One of the better known vineyards, Bien Nacido, is found on the labels of some of the most prestigious wines of the area.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.