2006 Three Saints Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley
Santa Barbara County is a great place to grow pinot noir. In certain parts, the cool maritime air gives the fruit lovely acidity to balance the ever-present rich fruit flavors. One of these places is the Dierberg Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley, a small appellation in the larger Santa Barbara County appellation. The 2006 Three Saints Pinot Noir uses grapes from this vineyard, and the result is a rich pinot with the acidity and balance already mentioned. Raspberry and silky bright cherry aromas and flavors lead to a hint of earth, white pepper, toffee and pomegranate. The acidity and lightest hint of tannins on the finish add complexity, and a juiciness that begs for grilled salmon, ahi tuna and lightly spicy chicken curry. The Three Saints Pinot Noir is $26.Jim Dierberg founded Dierberg Winery in 1996. He later started the Three Saints label to make more affordable wines. Mr. Dierberg and his wife, Mary, grew up in Missouri, where they founded the Hermanhoff Winery in 1974. Three Saints winemaker, Nicholas G. de Luca, learned his craft in California and New Zealand, also known for great pinot noir. Mr. de Luca ages the Three Saints Pinot Noir in one-third new French oak barrels for a little over a year, giving the wine a smooth, toasty characteristic, particularly on the finish. Jarrett Osborn | Riverwalk Wine & Spirits
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