Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

More gushing over Siduri

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008 at 3:07 pm in Uncategorized.

siduri pinot noir

Aaron and I braved what will likely go down as the worst California storm of our lives to taste and hang at Siduri on Jan. 4, and it was well worth it. If you read my piece today on Ryan Zepaltas, you’ll understand why. There will be plenty more Sonoma love where that came from. Stay tuned here and read my column every other Wednesday in Food & Wine.

On to Siduri. As you probably know, Adam and Dianna Lee get their Pinot Noir grapes from the best vineyard sites in Oregon and California. They vinify each barrel separately down to lot, clone and yeast, honing in on the true reflection of the place the grapes were grown, and the potential vibrancy of the fruit.

They make so many fine Pinot Noirs (26 at last count, I believe) but it’s easy to tell them apart because they all taste so different. It’s the full spectrum of the Pinot Noir rainbow. :) Copious notes help too, and the fact that I often run through special bottles in my head right before I fall asleep at night (I’m serious).

The following are my koo-koo-for-Coco-Puffs Siduri standouts. I also tried and fell in love with wines from their secondary label, Novy Family Wines, when I was there. They are technically a value brand but still show off the Lees’ mad skills with Syrah, Chardonnay, Nebbiolo and Zinfandel, among others. On to Siduri:

2005 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir: Light and delicate but with good acidity and structure. I got cherry cola, mushrooms and cacao from this wine. Gorgeous.

2005 Rosella’s Vineyards Pinot Noir. From the famed vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands comes this pomegranate and forest floor darling. Totally different style from the above wine.

2005 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: A great example of New World Pinot Noir that’s not dosed on ‘roids. It’s quite spicy with a lot of red berry flavors. I’d totally have this with a Moroccan or Indian inspired burger.

Novy Family Wines:

2005 Gary’s Vineyard Syrah: Another Santa Lucia Highlands wine covered in rich, dark blackberries, leather, and a white pepper finish that goes on and on.

2005 “Oley” Dessert Wine: I rarely go for sweet wines but hope to include this half-bottle one in an upcoming cover story on stickies for its fresh citrus flavors and round, apple pie a la mode quality. It’s also got a sweet story: it’s named after Grandma Novy.

2005 Nebbiolo Stolpman Vineyard: It was a real treat to sample this “play wine” of the Lees. The Santa Ynez vineyard tamed the finicky grapes used for Barolo and Barbaresco and produced this gorgeous, spice-flecked, raspberry filled wine. What a rarity to drink quality Nebbiolo from California!

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  • S.D.

    Are the Gary’s vineyard grapes sourced from Roar’s Santa Lucia Highlands Gary’s vineyard? Any thoughts on differences between the two (pricewise and tastewise?) Would love to know.

  • http://ibabuzz/corkheads Jessica

    Hey Shirley,
    Siduri’s Gary’s Vineyard is indeed from the Santa Lucia Highlands plot you’re thinking of. It’s a dark, heady wine, runs in the $40s and has a great story: the Lees dumped the whole clusters in a tank and stomped on them a la I Love Lucy (yup, pigeage). The 2005 vintage is already sold out, but I think you can still find it at a few restaurants in Healdsburg. I believe Roar made slightly less wine from these grapes (400 cases as opposed to the Lee’s 700) and they charge $50 a bottle. But both wines are characterized by their medium body and dark berry fruit. A win-win either way.