Monday’s article was the first part of our look at Dierberg winery. That post covered two excellent white wines and both the Dierberg and Star Lane brands. Today we are continuing our tasting adventure at the same winery with a comparative Pinot Noir tasting, with one from the Dierberg label and the other from their Three Saints line.
As I mentioned on Monday, Dierberg produces wines under their own name label, Star Lane, and Three Saints, with Dierberg and Star Lane making up two unique premium brands specializing in different grape varieties, and Three Saints representing their more affordable second line.
Three Saints sources their fruit from all three of the estate vineyards used by Dierberg and Star Lane, and their wines represent a tremendous bargain. So today, I thought it would be fun to compare two wines made by the same producer, with the same grape, just under different labels, to see how they perform side by side.
Wine #1: Three Saints 2008 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Sourced exclusively from the loamy hillsides of Dierberg’s Santa Maria Valley vineyard, the Three Saints Pinot comes from the very same place that the Dierberg label Pinot does. Following a warm fermentation using native yeast, the wine spent time in new and used French oak to build up complexity.
This wine’s aroma is dominated by sweet, ripe raspberries, cherry, and subtle huckleberry tones. A spin in the glass reveals blueberry, potpourri, and sweet vanilla notes, making it very attractive and inviting.
Cherry, raspberry, and a hint of orange show at first on the palate. Light hints of dried leaves and a faintly herbaceous quality open up around the mid palate and mingle beautifully with the dense ripe fruit into the finish. This is a beautifully integrated, absolutely fruit driven Pinot with an impressively lasting finish that drinks well above its price point.
Worth Buying. 91 points.
Wine #2: Dierberg 2007 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Like the Three Saints Pinot, this one’s fruit is sourced from Dierberg’s estate vineyard, fermented using native yeast, and at a warm temperature. To add depth of color and flavor, the juice remains in contact with the skins for a little over two weeks. To further develop the flavor profile and mouthfeel of the wine, it spent a year and a half in French oak, just under half of it new.
Dried cranberry, cherry, and blackberry show on the nose. A spin in the glass opens up a faintly flinty minerality, blackcurrant, and cinnamon tones.
Rich, ripe, and deep on the palate, this wine shows cranberry, dark cherry, and raspberry. It’s fresh and balanced, with rich notes of spice, subtle but persistent tannins, and a lasting finish. This is a gorgeously integrated Pinot with rich body and an excellent combination of fruit and subtle earth tones.
Worth Trying. 92 points.
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The Grapevine: How do you like your Pinot, earthy or fruit forward?