Dierberg Vineyard2004 Pinot Noir, Estate
(Santa Maria Valley)
Dierberg may not be a familiar name to California wine drinkers, but the Dierberg family are certainly not from the Johnny-come-lately vintner’s school either. The Dierbergs are actually a banking family hailing from St. Louis, with a long simmering interest in wine and winemaking. Over thirty years ago, the Dierbergs resuscitated the historic Hermannhof Winery in Hermann, Mo., including an extensive network of barrel aging caves. Looking further afield, they found a property in the Santa Maria Valley, not far from Bien Nacido Vineyard, which they planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Dierberg 2004 Pinot Noir, all from estate fruit, is fermented hot on the skins, so that this highly extracted Pinot has plenty of dark aromatics to match its color. Decanting may be in order to give the compacted and tightly wound wine some air and let it breathe. After about five minutes in the glass, this beauty starts to open up with flavors of dark plum, red cherry and sour black cherry, along with a streak of brown baking spices and what must be an intentional level of richness that coats the palate with extended texture and a lingering finish.
Reviewed September 15, 2006 by Dennis Schaefer.
Dennis Schaefer has been tasting and writing about wine for over 30 years, propelled by a continuing curiosity and burgeoning enthusiasm for discovering what’s in the bottle. Blessed with catholic tastes, he enjoys everything from the obvious to the sublime. A major requirement is that the vineyard, winery and winemaker consistently perform well and fulfill their potential. Balance, concentration and complexity are key to the tasting experience but, in the end, the purpose of wine is simply to give pleasure.