2014 "Star" Cabernet Sauvignon
Four decades ago, the Dierberg family quest of producing world-class wine began in their home state of Missouri. Two decades later, the family settled in their second home, Santa Barbara County, where the Star Lane, Dierberg, and Drum Canyon vineyards were born. Each vineyard is tethered to a 250-year pursuit of making wine where value is derived from the unique qualities discovered from each site. CCL (250 years in Roman Numerals) wines personify the dedication, passion, and pursuit embarked upon four decades ago.
2014 continues the trend (since 2012) of limited moisture, marked by warm springs and moderate summers. While 2014’s ripening period was earlier and warmer than others - finishing maturity in August/September instead of September/October - grape quality developed evenly. In fact, the hang time from flowering to full maturity was no different than years past as everything started earlier. Limited moisture improves overall concentration and structure in wine. Across our entire portfolio we observe a precision and refinement to 2014 that presents itself as purity and reticence hinting at longevity.
Across several varieties 2014 proved to be a vintage of purity. Of course, in the moment as we worked with the fruit for this wine sourced from the "home block" at Star Lane, we didn't quite know it. Our goal then was to respect the tense and fresh quality we clearly observed, layer in sturdy but balanced tannin, and patiently observe the wine's evolution. As with 2013, it became clear something special emerges from this single block of Cabernet Sauvignon which integrates new oak as if it isn't there, helping to display the fruit's purity and elegance. Additionally, the wine takes much longer to peak and plateau in its development, therefore once again we aged it for nearly 3 years prior to bottling.
In a word: purity. While Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon and our Astral selection retain - and at times - emphasize Cabernet's fresh herbal qualities, Star pushes forth cassis and brambly berries which are fresh and purely expressed. The herbs are there, but as accents and somewhat veiled - at this stage - into a general floral quality. The nose is immediately attractive but not in a completely revealing way. It acts forward but clearly has more to give which engages the mind to desire additional whiffs to unearth the mystery. The texture is soft, with pure flavors, elegant and beautiful. Honestly, we take pride in showing Cabernet wrapped in such fresh prettiness as it demonstrates its ability to be more than a brooding beverage. Special and age-worthy, look forward to exploring this wine for many years.
- Tyler Thomas, Winemaker