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SAN BERNABE, MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA - 2016
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.
An exceptional expression of our estate San Bernabe Vineyard, Diora Three Crowns Red Wine combines the gravitas of Syrah’s intensity with the soft, supple tannins of Petite Sirah and the elegant aromatics of Grenache and Viognier. Complex and luxurious, this layered wine unveils commanding aromas of ripe plum, dark cherries and blueberry. On the palate, velvety tannins set the framework for a full-flavored medley of concentrated black cherry preserves, with a suggestion of rich mocha and brown sugar flavors that linger on the finish.
– James Ewart, Winemaker
The 2016 growing year started out about six days behind the early 2015 season, with relatively warm temperatures in March when bud break occurred. Foggy spring mornings and cool afternoon breezes resulted in smaller grape clusters that lead to intense flavors and aromas. This continued until veraison at the beginning of July, which was about the same as in 2015. From there the season was remarkably cool which was perfect for ripening the delicate fruit flavors and maintaining excellent acidity. The harvest weather was relatively warm with a couple of warm spells at the beginning of September which moved everything along.
Our estate-bottled Three Crowns proprietary red wine is crafted from grapes grown in our family-owned San Bernabe Vineyard. The majority of the fruit comes from the original plantings at San Bernabe in 1991 (Block 25). This block is now fully mature and in balance, producing very small concentrated berries. About 21% of the fruit comes from a newer Syrah block, picked at the stress middle of the vineyard. Both these blocks grow on exceptionally well-draining, sandy Aeolian soils derived from wind-formed dunes. Permeable soils coupled with windy afternoons and low annual rainfall shielded by the three “crowns” (peaks in the Santa Lucia range) to the west, result in optimal vigor control – important for Syrah – and brilliant, concentrated wine filled with dark color, complex and ripe aromas, mature tannins and added depth in the mid-palate.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were gently destemmed into small open top stainless steel tanks where they were pumped over and punched down daily to obtain maximum flavor and concentration. Here the fermentation began, and the fermenters reached a high of 85°F, to maximize color and flavor extraction. Following fermentation, the wine was pressed directly into barrels where the wine underwent malolactic fermentation before being racked out and blended.
This wine was aged in 80% French oak and 20% American oak of which approximately 50% were new. The Demptos Louis Martini barrels add some high char notes, while the AP John American barrels add some caramel/coconut characters. The majority of the wine went into Taransaud barrels which adds quite a bit of texture and richness to the wine. The wine spent a total of 18 months in barrels.
This full-bodied yet elegant wine will pair beautifully with a Moroccan-spiced lamb dish, braised short-ribs, venison stew, or simply with smoked gouda or cheddar cheese.
APPELLATION: San Bernabe Vineyard (80% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah, 4% Grenache, 3% Tempranillo, 3% Viognier)
TOTAL ACID: 0.53 G/100ml
ALCOHOL: 15% by volume
CASES PRODUCED: 350 (9L)
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