James Dierberg knows a good thing when he sees one. And, as a banker by profession, he is not afraid to complete a transaction. Some examples: His wife/ business partner, Mary. (He asked her to marry him on their first date!) Mission accomplished. Historic Hermanoff Winery (circa 1826!) in his home state of Missouri. Check! Star Lane Ranch, located in the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County. Done deal. Property in the cooler climes of Santa Maria promising spectacular Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Add to cart. Nick de Luca, former semi-pro mountain biker/recovering law student turned winemaker. Fait accompli. Dierberg Estate Winery founded in 2004. Inevitable.
Even though the 2006 vintage posed many challenges in the vineyard, the grapes ripened to perfection. Much more than just another super-concentrated, South Coast fruit bomb, this Pinot Noir offers complexity and intrigue, as well as plenty of deep satisfaction. In addition to rich, spicy black cherry aromatics, look for nuances of tea leaf, sage, conifer and dried orange rind. On the palate, it is richly textured with silky tannins that provide backbone and definition, while making it extremely food-worthy. With vibrant acidity, supple tannins and moderate alcohol, it offers excellent versatility at the table.