2015 Dierberg Chardonnay, Dierberg Vineyard, SMV
2015 brought some dramatic yield differences from recent vintages. After plentiful yields in 2012-2014, the vines seemed content with producing fewer clusters. Then in May, we experienced one of the coldest weather patterns in over a decade during flowering, reducing the amount of berries that set. Therefore yields were very low. The season progressed fairly normally if being early like the previous drought-driven vintages. While the vintage will be known for several heat spells from mid-September into October, the Chardonnay was harvested prior to those spells and had a lovely, cool ripening period to finish. Therefore the vintage is concentrated, fresh, and limited.
The 2015 Chardonnay showed flavor development early in ripening permitting harvest dates with plentiful amounts of natural acidity. In fact, the freshness of both flavor and texture warranted an increase in both new oak and maloactic fermentation. In several previous vintages much of the Chardonnay was prevented from undergoing secondary fermentation, but in 2015 we leveraged this tool to bring our acidity into balance on nearly 70% of the wine. Additionally the sweetness from just a touch more new oak further balanced the firm backbone the acidity supplied. Applying these practices helped maintain the site expression and consistency we’ve come to appreciate from the Dierberg Vineyard.
For Dierberg and Drum Canyon Vineyard we witnessed remarkable concentration and freshness that is the goal of every estate every year. With full flavors but higher acidity the wine veiled at first glance, but reveals subtle complexity which we’ve come to appreciate from Dierberg Vineyard: pear, citrus, and an almost fennel-like aromatic element. The palate is fresh but not without a generous mid-palate texture. The mouth feel seems to beg for a bit age so that it sees weight added to its excellent frame. The length suggests age ability. Enjoy!