Diora La Splendeur Du Soleil Monterey Chardonnay 2021


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Diora La Splendeur Du Soleil Monterey Chardonnay 2021

93 pts – Wine Enthusiast

Excellently presented aromas of butter, nectarine, warm almond and white flower are delicate but expressive on the nose of this bottling. An immediate acidity races through the palate, lifting the toasty and buttery elements while pairing smartly against the ripe citrus and white flower elements. MATT KETTMANN


Named for the golden hills of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range that frames our family-owned San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey, Diora is inspired from “d’Or,” the French phrase meaning “golden” and bestowed on beautiful, sun-filled regions. No effort has been spared along Diora’s 30-year journey from vineyard-to-bottle. The result is an expressive wine overflowing with flavor, depth and personality and a devotion to indulgence.


This Chardonnay has a beautiful, pale golden hue with tropical aromas of pineapple that mingle with toasted oak and hints of ripe apricot, creme brûlée and pear. The delicate flavors of crème brûlée in this white wine give way to lovely notes of key lime, white peach, and marshmallow in a medium-bodied mouthfeel.

— James Ewart, Winemaker


This wine comes from the Limestone Ridge area in block 218 at our San Bernabe Vineyard. Within this block, there are three clones of Chardonnay: 1) # 4 (one of the more prevalent California clones giving the wine nice apple and tropical fruit notes). 2) Clone 95, a newer Dijon clone, adds a nice lime component and 3) Clone 76 provides some stone fruit to balance the flavors. The underlying limestone lens in this block produces wine with great minerality, giving nice texture which will age for many years. The Santa Lucia Highlands portion comes from our own vineyard at the northern end of the appellation. This particular vineyard is predominantly Clone 4, with some smaller amounts of Dijon clones.


Our veteran winemaker, James Ewart, oversees the team and the small-lot winery built in the vineyard. Diora is the culmination of experience, patience and an unwavering commitment to craft a signature style all our own. The Chardonnay is picked from selected vines in roughly a 30-40 vine section in the center of the limestone lenses. It is then rushed to the winery, where it is gently pressed into French oak barrels. Here it underwent primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation and stirred on primary lees. Following this, some of the best barrels were racked together and put back into the new barrels. The wine then spent a further five months in barrels prior to bottling.


This wine was aged in 100% French barrels, of which approximately 89 % were once used French oak barrels. The Damy Vosges long-toast barrels gives the wine some nice length with some slight char notes. The Cadus barrels gives the wine some nice vanilla sweetness and depth. A few Vicard barrels were also used for sweetness.

APPELLATION: Monterey (63% San Bernabe, 37% Santa Lucia Highlands)
AGING: 14 months in French oak
PH: 3.52
TOTAL ACID: 0.53 G/100ml
ALCOHOL: 14.5% by volume