2009 Dierberg “Steven” Estate Grown Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.62, $65. Dierberg Vineyard is located on top a sandy loam mesa above the South Bank of the Santa Maria River. “Steven,” named after the Dierberg’s first grandson, is sourced from areas of loamy clay near the western edge of the vineyard (“sweet spot”) that produce wines with more power and structure. Brix at harvest 25.9º. De-stemmed but not crushed. Long maceration of 21 days with pump over regimen reduced one short mixing per day. Aged 17 months in 100% new Francois Frères oak puncheons. Clarity fined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark purple color in the glass. The nose is reluctant to reveal itself, slowly offering aromas of black cherries and black berries with forest floor notes and some smoky oak. Soft, structured and full-bodied on the palate with oak-kissed black cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, and earthy, grilled mushroom flavors. The tannins are firm and dry. The wine is consistent with the Dierberg style from this vineyard, but ramped up a bit in concentration. At present the fruit is buried in the oak topcoat, but this should largely resolve over time in the bottle. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A terroir-driven wine that is well crafted in its style. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013

Winery: Dierberg Vineyards
From article: Sips of Pinot: Wines Tasted Recently