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"A class act" Wine Orbit

"Showing grilled peach, mango, vanillin oak characters on the nose with seductive nuances of toffee & brioche" Wine Orbit

Pairs perfectly alongside creamy mushroom risotto or rich seafood pasta dishes

Diora la Splendeur du Soleil Monterey Chardonnay 2018 (California)

Member rating / 4
Elsewhere $39.99 $34.77
6 Btls, $197.94 6 Btls, $172.12
Awarded 5 Stars Black Market 5 Stars Awarded 95/100 Points Awarded 91/100 Points
Diora la Splendeur du Soleil Monterey Chardonnay 2018 (California)

Diora la Splendeur du Soleil Monterey Chardonnay 2018 (California)

Member rating / 4
Delicate flavors of crème brûlée and vanilla bean give way to lovely notes of key lime, white peach and butterscotch...
Elsewhere $39.99 $34.77
6 Btls, $197.94 6 Btls, $172.12


Awarded 95/100 Points & 5 Stars

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, Dec 2020

Awarded 91/100 Points

Wine Enthusiast


  • French oak
  • Smoked apple & peach cobbler
  • Butterscotch & crème brûlée
  • Pineapple & coconut

"Stunningly graceful and opulently delicious, showing grilled peach, mango and vanillin oak characters on the nose with seductive nuances of toffee and brioche. It’s impressively concentrated and plush on the palate delivering awesome power and intensity, magnificently enhanced by creamy texture and expansive mouthfeel. A class act. At its best: now to 2026" Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, Dec 2020

"Aromas of smoked apple, red pear and chamomile show on the nose of this bottling. There’s a flashy sizzle of acidity on the palate, where pineapple, Asian pear, toast and white peach make for a rich, creamy expression" Wine Enthusiast

This Chardonnay has a beautiful, golden hue with aromas of apples that mingle with toasted oak and hints of peach cobbler, coconut and pineapple. The delicate flavors of crème brûlée and vanilla bean give way to lovely notes of key lime, white peach and butterscotch in a medium-bodied mouthfeel.

The 2018 Monterey growing season had cool and moderate weather return to Monterey County and made harvest more aligned with a typical coastal winegrowing timeline. Mild temperatures, overnight fog and afternoon winds provided extra hang-time desired for great phenolic development which this region typically enjoys. With no real significant heat spikes, the grapes were allowed to slowly ripen and create intense fruit f lavors. This was a harvest of excellent quality.

About two-thirds of this blend comes from the San Bernabe Estate Vineyard which has a range of soils from ancient aeolian sand dunes to calcareous soils. These sandy soils are free draining, allowing the vines to develop deep root systems developing healthier vines. The climate is much warmer during the day and cools down in the afternoon as the prevailing afternoon winds funnel down from the Monterey Bay allowing for the development of more apple and tropical characters such as pineapple, guava, and stone fruit. About one third of the blend comes from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands which is cooler than the San Bernabe Estate Vineyard, providing more citrusy characters such as orange and grapefruit. Only our best blocks with specific clones, mostly Dijon, made it to the finished blend. From the San Bernabe Vineyard blocks 43B (clone 17), block 41B (Clone 95, 76), block 218A have more calcareous soils adding minerality. From the Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard blocks 1BS, 1BN, and 1AS with predominately clone 4 and 95 were selected for the final blend adding the rich tropical notes.

Veteran winemaker, James Ewart, oversees the team and the small-lot winery built in the vineyard. Blocks were picked when the fruit was fully ripe, and each lot was kept separate and 100% barrel fermented. 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 oak barrels. After the wines finished alcoholic fermentation they underwent malolactic fermentation and were stirred every two weeks which helped soften and round out the wine and provide buttery character. The yeast selections were VIN13, and CY3070. VIN13 is known to enhance thiols (guava, passion fruit, and grapefruit), CY3070 is known to contribute characters such as toasted bread, honey, hazelnut, and vanilla when left on lees.

This wine was aged for eleven months in predominantly French barrels creating nice weight on the palate. The Damy Vosges long-toast barrels gives the wine nice length with slight toasty notes. The Cadus barrels gives the wine nice vanilla sweetness and depth. About 22% were new oak barrels and the remainder of the wine was barrel fermented in 1+ years seasoned barrels so the fruit aromas were not overwhelmed by new oak.

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 are expressive wines overflowing with flavor, depth, personality and a devotion to indulgence.







NZ (from $5.99)

Member Rating

5 Stars

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User comments (2)

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A little too young...needs a few more years..not as full bodied as Bogle which is $10 cheaper

peter - 06/11/2021

OMG this is amazing, what to me Chardonnay should taste like, big, bold and buttery, with a wonderful rounding of oak, now off to buy some more.

June - 21/10/2021


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