2018 Dierberg Chardonnay, Dierberg Vineyard, SMV

2018 Dierberg Chardonnay, Dierberg Vineyard, SMV


2018 was a vintage that we hope for every year in our coastal vineyards. Below
average winter rain set us up for another year of lower than normal vigor. Spring
began cool and temperatures remained moderate throughout the summer. In
many ways what makes this vintage remarkable was that its’ weather was
unremarkable. “Regular” vintages in Santa Maria Valley are so well suited for
excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that the cool temperatures, persistent fog
patterns, and lack of heat spells meant concentrated fruit that retained freshness
and was filled with a mouth-watering texture. Unlike 2017 when heat spells
complicated harvest decisions and in some cases fruit quality with stricter
selection process, the only knock on 2018 was its low quantity. It is reminiscent of
2015’s concentration but with 2016/2017 elegance and for Santa Maria Valley is a
bit more fruit forward than usual, shedding – just a bit- its’ typical earthy tones
when young.
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WINEMAKER NOTES
Chardonnay, in many ways, is not difficult to make and yet it risks being a thorn in
the side. Gently pressed for juice clarity, it was immediately apparent that the juice
quality and concentration was high. Acidity was up from 2017 which led us to
believe the wine would be a touch too nervy and energetic. As a result, once
primary finished (oh, and that thorn – sluggish ferments in-barrel are a real
nuisance but we managed to get it all done with the simple tool of patience), we
elected to push more wine through secondary fermentation in 2018. Approximately
60%. Honestly, I can’t remember as we picked out specific barrels and had them go
through 100%. It was all done by taste. The result was precisely what we had hoped
for: classic Dierberg Chardonnay with restrained unction and a fresh finish.
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This is a classic Dierberg Chardonnay. For those familiar with the vineyard’s Chardonnay, there will be plenty to like
in this wine. The nose seduces you with stone fruit and citrus expressions with only a hint of tropical notes in the
background. The palate has a wonderful broad feel that connotes California, but never strays away from its backbone
of refreshing acidity.

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SKU: 18DBCHSMV
Wine Specs
Vintage
2018
Varietal
Chardonnay
Appellation
Santa Maria Valley
Harvest Date
09/2018
Aging
15 months - 30% New
Bottling Date
12/2019
Alcohol %
13.2