Named for the golden hills of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range that frames our family-owned San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey, Diora is inspired from “d’Or,” the French phrase meaning “golden” and bestowed on beautiful, sun-filled regions. No effort has been spared along Diora’s 30-year journey from vineyard-to-bottle. The result is an expressive wine overflowing with flavor, depth and personality and a devotion to indulgence.
A beautiful, golden hue, the aromas of toasted oak mingle with light spice notes of cinnamon. The delicate flavors of vanilla bean give way to a lovely, soft and light buttery layer. This reminds one of a rich, yet delicate crème brûlée with a soft, round mouthfeel that will pair beautifully with lobster or sautéed scallops. The light acidity and long finish of this wine will also be a great accompaniment to a variety of dishes.
– Winemaker, James Ewart
The 2017 Monterey harvest produced rich wines of excellent quality. The growing season started out cool, but the mild spring weather brought good bloom. Warm sunny days and cool nights throughout the summer months allowed the grapes to gradually ripen on the vine. An unexpected heatwave in early September rapidly increased sugar production in some varieties, but temperatures dropped back to normal right before harvest. Overall, the 2017 Monterey growing season produced refreshing and fruity white wines.
This wine comes from the Limestone Ridge area in block 218 at our San Bernabe Vineyard. Within this block, there are three clones of Chardonnay: 1) # 4 (one of the more prevalent California clones giving the wine nice apple and tropical fruit notes). 2) Clone 95, a newer Dijon clone, adds a nice lime component and 3) Clone 76 provides some stone fruit to balance the flavors. The underlying limestone lens in this block produces wine with great minerality, giving nice texture which will age for many years. The Santa Lucia Highlands portion comes from our own vineyard at the northern end of the appellation. This particular vineyard is predominantly Clone 4, with some smaller amounts of Dijon clones.
Our veteran winemaker, James Ewart, oversees the team and the small-lot winery built in the vineyard. Diora is the culmination of experience, patience and an unwavering commitment to craft a signature style all our own. The Chardonnay is picked from selected vines in roughly a 30-40 vine section in the center of the limestone lenses. It is then rushed to the winery, where it is gently pressed into French oak barrels. Here it underwent primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation and stirred on primary lees. Following this, some of the best barrels were racked together and put back into the new barrels. The wine then spent a further five months in barrels prior to bottling.
This wine was aged in 100% French barrels, of which approximately 89 % were once used French oak barrels. The Damy Vosges long-toast barrels gives the wine some nice length with some slight char notes. The Cadus barrels gives the wine some nice vanilla sweetness and depth. A few Vicard barrels were also used for sweetness.
APPELLATION: Monterey (63% San Bernabe, 37% Santa Lucia Highlands)
AGING: 11 months in 100% French oak
TOTAL ACID: 0.55 G/100ml
ALCOHOL: 14.5% by volume
CASES PRODUCED: 2,500 (9L)