Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) by Dierberg * StarLane, Santa Barbara County, CA.
Deep intense color. Nose is a little shy out of the bottle with notes of raspberry, blackberry, a touch of cherry cola, licorice and damp wood leather with an underlying herbal suggestion almost eucalyptus like. It’s very faint and hard to discern. Swirling vigorously unlocks a burst of berries and cherry cola, over and over and over again… Ugghhh.
Body is light, crisp, balanced from front to back. This wine eases onto the palate, very gently, with mere suggestions of faint dark cherry and plum skins. Not too ripe, not too tart, just right, a mere tannic suggestion. There is a masterfully integrated crisp neutral oak you would easily miss. This all combines to form a supple, creamy underlayment. It has a nicely integrated mouth feel. A warm, firm but restrained spice emerges and persists over the palate. Transition to finish is seamless as the melange of whispers and suggestions slowly fade away leaving the palate slightly moist, under a gentle crisp tannic grip and gentle, warm spice tingle.
The 2014 vintage is one of my all-time favorite Pinot Noirs. This 2016 vintage falls right in line. It is an absolutely gorgeous wine sure to keep the focused, advanced palate engaged even entranced. A very sophisticated, nuanced expression, the Dierberg SMV Pinot holds a special place in my heart and Cellar. I don’t think I will ever be able to get enough of it. This is what you get when wine comes first before everything else.
I have to go now…
Read more about my first visit to Dierberg * StarLane here.
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Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir by Dierberg * Star Lane Vinyards, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, California.
Light ruby color. Very restrained and delicate nose characterized by sweet berry, hint of cherry, oak and the faintest slightly mineral terroir. The melange creates a subtle and unmistakable slightly caramelized marshmallow essence. It is rich, clean, crisp, layered, highly delineated. Body is just as restrained, very subtle, delicate balance of mild, berry, faint oak and leather as the terroir becomes slightly more expressed. Body makes a subtly tannic transition into the finish which quickly turns creamy and dissipates into the very gentle finish capped by a restrained spice. This is a traditional Pinot and it is showing perfectly right now!
My goodness this is an amazing Pinot!!! After weeks of bold big bodied wines, it is a breath of fresh air upon the palate. It is a reminder that some of the best Pinot in the world is crafted here in California. You won’t find this at the store. You will have to make the journey of a lifetime to this understated region. I wrote about my visit to this winery on my blog (see link in bio). Well done Dierberg * Star Lane! Hope to see you again soon. 🍷😁👌🏽
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Tonight’s occasion: 2008 Hitching Post, Bien Nacido, Pinot Noir.
Yes folks. I had to stop by the Hitching Post while exploring Santa Barbara wine country last year. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to really sit down and do this place justice. I ended up literally rushing through on my way out at the end of my visit. If you’ve never been to the Hitching Post, they have a mouth-watering assortment of Pinot Noir. Staggering. You would need an all-day visit to do it justice.
The Bien Nacido came highly recommended. This 2008 does not disappoint. Great earthy nose, smooth, buttery, well balanced body (especially for a Pinot of 14.5% ABV), a testament to the winemakers skill. It’s obvious this wine started off big and bold for a Pinot but has had time to balance out. It’s deep dark blood red color is the first indicator. I think a lot of folks such as myself take this place for granted until you open up your first bottle. This is my second and it is simply exquisite. Great job guys!
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