2019 Dierberg Pinot Noir, Drum Canyon Vineyard
This vintage was defined by its consistent moderate weather throughout the ripening period. Spring and summer were rather normal: relatively cool and windy. Of course, what sets Drum Canyon Vineyard, and the Sta. Rita Hills apart is that it is also windy throughout the entire ripening period. 2019 was no exception and there were relatively few, if any, heat spells during this time. Therefore, the fruit was prototypical for Drum: thick skinned, tense, full of healthy acidity and concentrated flavor. 2019 demonstrated the benefit of our south facing slopes and their ability for us to develop a concentrated flavor profile at lower potential alcohols. The resulting fruit was beautiful and demonstrative of how Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can be easy to produce when the fruit quality is so high; as the winemaker merely needs to step aside and let it shine
Most colleagues I speak with enjoy their 2019s more now than when the vintage initially arrived. The fruit was beautiful, thick skinned, and initially presented a subtle, quiet character that veiled its power and depth. Sensing the inherent structure, we did not include as many stems in the ferment as may be typical because we believed structure was present without any assistance. This proved true as maceration times were also shorter. As the wine aged in nearly 40% new French oak, more and more depth emerged as the wines also remained nimble and refreshing
I've followed this wine since we bottled it in December of 2020. As of this writing (May 2022), my original sense that its depth would emerge with time has proved prescient. A recent opening revealed an ever available and complex aroma profile backed by a highly structured and serious mouth feel with plenty of depth and substance to support that structure. It is only now that the wine seems ready to show and emerge and it should last for quite some time. Once again patience proves its worth in Drum Canyon Pinot Noir. Enjoy!