2019 Diora, La Spendeur Du Soleil Chardonnay
I was recently introduced to a new winery by my friend Tom Bender at a wine tasting event in Modesto. The event was featuring award winning wines from the SF Chronicle Wine Competition. Knew a few wines on the list, by this Chardonnay from Diora was unfamiliar. Upon smelling the boutique and having my first sip, this was an absolute show stopper! When I was told it won Double Gold at the 2022 SF Chronicle Wine Competition, it made perfect sense and what a delightful and wonderful treat it turned out to be.
The Winery & Winemaker
James Ewart is the winemaker who came to Monterey, specifically San Bernabe Vineyard from Australia. James background is varied but tied in nicely. He grew up making wine with his father, then went on to get an undergraduate degree in geology and chemistry. He learned at an early age the necessity of having the right location to achieve award winning wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Over thirty years’ experience with the family owned estate in the Santa Lucia Highlands, with cooling ocean breezes allowing the skins to thicken and provide a mouth filling flavor on the palate. This has led to his distinct Chardonnay wines.
The Wine, 2019 Diora Chardonnay, La Spendeur Du Soleil
It is named for the golden hills of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range which frames the family owned San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey. First on the eyes, a beautiful golden color and medium viscosity. On the nose, tropical aroma, s of pineapple, lightly toasted oak, crème brûlée and pear waft into the sense. On the palate, soft and mellow lime and almonds provide an exquisite Chardonnay. The finish was equally impressive with a fullness not typically found in Chardonnays. This wine was barrel fermented for nine months with approximately 45% new French oak. After this aging, the wine was racked and put back into oak barrels for another five months. His choices of yeasts were hand selected to impart soft characteristics of guava, passionfruit, grapefruit, honey, hazelnut and vanilla. For winning Double Gold in the $18 to $19.99 category, this is the real deal.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Opened this wine for a food pairing of large shrimp with a red sauce, lightly infused with wasabi and fresh spinach. The sauce provided a stark contrast to this elegant wine, but the shrimp danced with excitement embracing every bite and sip of the wine. This is surely a wine that can be paired with many dishes or enjoyed solo.