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MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA - 2019
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 Chardonnay overflowing with flavor, depth and personality and a devotion to indulgence.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTE
This Chardonnay has a beautiful, pale golden hue with tropical aromas of pineapple that mingle with toasted oak and hints of ripe apricot, creme brûlée and pear. The delicate flavors of crème brûlée in this white wine give way to lovely notes of key lime, white peach, and marshmallow in a medium-bodied mouthfeel.
– Winemaker, James Ewart
WINE VINTAGE REPORT
The 2019 Monterey growing season had cool and moderate weather return to Monterey County and made the grape harvest more aligned with a typical coastal wine growing timeline. Mild temperatures, overnight fog and afternoon winds provided extra hang-time desired for great phenolic development which this wine region typically enjoys. With no real significant heat spikes, the Chardonnay grapes were allowed to slowly ripen and create intense fruit flavors. This was a harvest of excellent quality.
Just over 80% of this Chardonnay comes from our San Bernabe Vineyard which has a range of soils from ancient aeolian sand dunes to calcareous soils. These sandy soils are free draining, allowing the grape vines to develop deep root systems developing healthier vines. The climate is much warmer during the day and cools down in the afternoon as the prevailing afternoon winds funnel down from the Monterey Bay allowing for the development of more tropical characters such as pineapple, guava, and stone fruit. The remainder of the white wine blend comes from Santa Lucia highlands which is cooler than our San Bernabe Vineyards, providing more citrusy characters such as orange and grapefruit. It is a long narrow strip that runs down east south of the Santa Lucia Highlands Foothill with dense early fog, and breeze that burns off as the sun rises. Only our best blocks with specific grape clones, mostly Dijon, made it to the finished wine. From our San Bernabe Vineyard blocks 43B (clone 17), block 41B (Clone 95, 76), block 218A with more calcareous soils that add minerality (Clone 4, 95) were selected for the final wine blend. From our Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard blocks 1BS, 1BN, and 1AS with predominately clone 4 and 95 were selected for this fine Chardonnay.
Our veteran winemaker, James Ewart, oversees the team and the small-lot winery built in the vineyard. We picked our blocks when the fruit was fully ripe, and each was kept separate, and all were 100% barrel fermented. ~45 % new oak was used for primary and secondary fermentation. After nine months of aging the wine was racked and put back into oak barrels (predominantly French oak) where it spent another f ive months before f inal blending. The winemaker yeast selections were QA23, and CY3079. QA23 is known to enhance thiols (guava, passionfruit, and grapefruit), CY3079 is known to contribute characters such as toasted bread, honey, hazelnut, and vanilla when left on lees. After the wines f inished alcoholic fermentation, the wines underwent a malolactic fermentation and were stirred every two weeks which helps soften and round out the wine and provide buttery characters.
This wine was aged for ~fourteen months in predominantly French barrels creating nice weight on the palate. The Damy Vosges long-toast barrels gives the wine nice length with slight toasty notes. The Cadus barrels gives the wine nice vanilla sweetness and depth. About 45% were new oak barrels and the remainder of the wine was barrel fermented in 1+ years seasoned barrels so the fruit aromas were not overwhelmed by new oak.
VARIETAL: 100% Chardonnay
APPELLATION: Monterey (~80% San Bernabe, 20% Santa Lucia Highlands)
AGING: 14 months in barrel (~45% new) Primarily French Oak
TOTAL ACID: 0.53 G/100ml
ALCOHOL: 14.5% by volume
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