Siduri Pinot Noir: Latest Releases from California and Oregon

Siduri is one of America’s preeminent producers of Pinot Noir. Under the guidance of founder Adam Lee, it produces a wide variety of vineyard designated premium wines and blends from celebrated vineyards in California and Oregon. Adam and his winemaker, Matt Revelette, oversee the management of vineyard parcels from Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains in the northern Willamette Valley to the Sta. Rita Hills in California’s southern Central Coast, almost one thousand miles to the south.  Siduri wines are handcrafted in small quantities for vineyard designated wines following winemaking techniques that bring out the unique character of each vineyard. 

Adam Lee & Matt Revelette

Adam Lee released his first vintage of Siduri Pinot Noir in 1994.  It consisted of just 107 cases from a small vineyard in the Anderson Valley. Twenty vintages later, Adam and his wife Diana decided to escape the business side of running a winery and marketing wines and sold Siduri to Jackson Family. However, Adam continues as consultant at Siduri where Matt Revelette now has the winemaking responsibilities.  Matt’s previous winemaking responsibilities included Sojourn Cellars, Williams Selyem and Kosta Browne after earning his Masters in Viticulture and Enology at Cal State Fresno.  

The International Wine Review recently completed a tasting of many of the wines in the Siduri portfolio. Our tasting notes confirm the high quality of the wines and the variety of expressions of Pinot Noir they offer to the consumer. The tasting notes also explain how climate, clones, soils and winemaking contribute to the unique character of each wine.  Of course, we’ve tasted the Siduri wines many times before.  In particular, we reviewed Siduri’s Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noirs in our report The Santa Lucia Highlands: Unique Terroir, Marvelous Wines; we reviewed its Russian River Valley and Sonoma County Pinot Noirs in our report The Wines of Sonoma County. And we review Siduri’s Santa Barbara Pinot Noirs in our soon to be published report Sta. Rita Hills: A New Look.

Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara’s Sta. Rita Hills’ Pinot Noir vineyards are the furthest south (at 35° latitude) of Siduri’s vineyard sites.  However, the east-west orientation of the mountains and the open access to the sea gives these sites a strong maritime influence that varies with distance from the Pacific, vineyard elevation, and aspect. Sta. Rita Hills comprises two distinct east-west valleys, and Siduri sources from both. The southerly valley, along Santa Rosa Rd, is a windy site with more calcareous soils, and the wines are darker and more mineral. The northerly valley, along Hwy 246, produces wines that can be more lush.  

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La Encantada Vineyard

The Wines

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County  ($30) 89  Medium ruby red.  Red fruit shows on the palate with herbal notes. A light bodied, easy drinking wine showing dried red cherry on the palate. 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills ($40) 91  The Siduri Santa Rita Hills displays pretty red fruit with a touch of spice. Full in the mouth, it is nicely balanced with good acidity and a pleasant finish. An easy drinking wine.  
 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard Sta Rita Hills 93+  Semi-opaque in color, the Siduri Clos Pepe Vineyard offers a spicy dark fruited nose. It is full bodied and elegant on the palate with excellent concentration of ripe dark red cherry fruit complemented by herbal brambly notes.  A wine packed with flavor.  Located in Hwy 246 and planted in the mid-1990s to mostly the Pommard clone, Clos Pepe has established itself as one of the top vineyards of the Sta. Rita Hills. 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills ($60) 91  The Pinot Noir John Sebastiano displays a medium ruby color and aromas of spicy and brambly red berry fruit. On the palate it is seamless with an elegant texture, good concentration and a long finish.  Planted in 2007, John Sebastiano is a relative newcomer to Sta. Rita Hills; it’s located on the eastern end of the appellation with steep vineyards and highly varied aspects, some exposed to strong winds.
 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills 94  The Siduri La Encantada Vineyard is a hedonistic wine. Semi opaque, it offers pure and spicy dark cherry and plum fruit on nose with a touch of cola. On the palate it is silky smooth, ripe and rich tasting with a hint of chocolate on the finish.  Originally planted by Richard Sanford, La Encantada is located close to the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard on Santa Rosa Rd. 

Sonoma County

Siduri’s Sonoma County wines come from diverse locations ranging from the Perry Ranch in southwestern Green Valley to much warmer sites like Barbieri and Parsons on the Santa Rosa Plain not far from the city of Santa Rosa.  Proximity to the sea is often, but not always, an important determinant of the maritime influence, including fog, of these sites.  The Russian River Valley almost always produces ripe fruit; the percent of whole cluster used in Siduri’s winemaking depends on hang time and lignification of the stems.  

Lingenfelder Vineyard

The Wines

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 92  Medium red. The Russian River Valley Pinot is a pretty wine, offering very fresh scents of red cherry and raspberry with a slight candied edge. The wine is fruit forward with pure flavors and a suave mouth feel. Finishes with good length. 14.5% alc.

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Barbieri Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 93  The Pinot Noir Barbieri Vineyard offers aromas of dark red berries and plum with spice notes. It has a silky texture and a full mouth feel with considerable purity of flavor. It is an elegant wine, beautifully balanced and persistent on the finish a good sense of refinement. The Barbieri Ranch was originally planted by an Italian immigrant, Italo Barbieri, on Olivet Rd northwest of Santa Rosa.  It was later (1970) purchased by the De Loach family and when they filed for bankruptcy in 2003, it was resold to the Boisset family, and the old vine Zinfandel was ripped out in favor of Pinot Noir. 14.5% alc.

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Ewald Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 91  Medium dark ruby. The Pinot Noir Ewald Vineyard offers earthy aromas and flavors of cherry. pomegranate and smoky spice. The palate reveals brambly notes of blueberry and blackberry with moderate intensity. The wine is well-balanced with good acidity, fine grained tannins, and a persistent finish. Ewald is a 3.1 acre vineyard of clones 115 and 777 located directly behind the Kistler winery in the Vine Hill area of Forestville. Matured in 30% new French oak for 14 months. 14.2% alc  

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Lingenfelder Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 91+  The Pinot Noir Lingenfelder Vineyard displays a medium ruby color. It exhibits lovely freshness with notes of cherries, red plums, tangy mulberry and hints of herbs. It’s a vivacious wine with an uplifted finish. Although technically on the Santa Rosa plain, Lingenfelder is a cool climate, 3 acre vineyard west of Fulton planted in 1996 with a mix of Pommard and Martini clones. About 40% whole clusters on the Pommard which lends a brightness to the wine. 14.2% alc.  

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Parsons’ Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 92  The Pinot Noir Parsons’ Vineyard displays a dark garnet ruby color and intense aromas of dark ripe cherry and plum fruit. It is full-bodied on the palate with big fruit flavors and mouth feel and is rich in alcohol with hints of forest floor, tea and earth. Parsons’ is a relatively warm site located west of Santa Rosa on the Santa Rosa plain. 14.5% alc.     

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Perry Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 92+  The Pinot Noir Perry Ranch Vineyard is light bodied with a savory mid-palate.It offers a silky elegant mouth feel, pure light red fruit flavors with notes of earth, firm acidity, fine tannins, and excellent focus. A significant portion of the fruit is whole cluster fermented with a significant amount of whole clusters; matured in 40% new French oak. Perry Ranch (formerly part of the Keefer Ranch) is a 16 acre vineyard subject to intense morning fog planted in Goldridge soils and managed by the Dutton family in the southwestern part of the Green River Valley. 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Pratt Vineyard-Sexton Road Sonoma Coast ($55) 94  The Pinot Noir Pratt Vineyard-Sexton Ranch is a beautiful wine offering pure dark red berry aromas and flavors. It is soft and delicious on the attack and is intensely flavored of dark berries, black cherry and dried herbs. It reveals an elegant texture and mouth feel and is beautifully balanced with soft round tannins and a long finish. The Pratt Vineyard is south of Graton and west of Sebastopol in an area known as the Sebastopol Hills. It was developed by Jim Pratt in the late 1990s. It’s a southwest facing vineyard at 453’ with 2697 GDD and Goldridge soils. 14.1% alc. 

Oregon

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Gran Moraine Vineyard

Oregon’s Pinot Noir vineyards lie at approximately the same latitude (45°) as those of Burgundy, about one thousand miles north of the Sta. Rita Hills.  Its northerly location used to present problems with ripening, but the warming climate has led to consistently good vintages. Unlike the coastal vineyards of California, those of Willamette Valley have a more subtle maritime influence.  Long hours of summer sunlight contribute to darker fruit notes and a savory elegance in the wines. 

The wines we tasted were all from the 2018 vintage, which was warm and dry in the Willamette Valley. According to Professor Greg Jones of Linfield College average summer temperatures were 1.4 to 2.3 degrees above normal. But there were few heat spikes and less heat stress than in 2017, and cool autumn weather led to a longer season than normal. Sugar levels, acidity and pH were all close to average with production levels up significantly. Some producers claim the fruit showed darker and juicier flavors compared to the 2017 vintage. 

The Wines

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley ($35) 92  Medium to medium dark red. Nice dark cherry and pomegranate with floral notes and an earthy/underbrush edge. Good focus, firm backbone, nice savory and brambly edge. Dry finish. A versatile food wine.  Sourced from three appellations:  Yamhill-Carlton, Chehalem Mountains, and Eola-Amity. 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Zena Crown Vineyard Eola – Amity Hills ($65) 94  The Pinot Noir Zena Crown Vineyard is an elegant wine offering a medium ruby color and aromas of black cherry fruit. On the palate it displays a beautiful silky texture with perfect balance and acidity, round firm tannins and a lengthy finish. A gorgeous wine! Premier Pacific Vineyards developed this vineyard in the early 2000s. It’s located due east of the Van Duzer corridor, which allows cool Pacific breezes to flow through, decreasing temperatures beginning in the late afternoon, helping grapes retain acidity, thickening skins, and firming tannins. Jackson Family purchased the 115 acre Zena Crown vineyard in 2013, their first foray into Oregon. The southwest facing vineyard is diverse in terms of clones, aspects, and altitude, ranging from 300-650’. 14.4% alc. 

Siduri 2018 Pinot Noir Gran Moraine Vineyard Yamhill Carlton ($65) 93  A dark earthy wine, the Pinot Noir Gran Moraine Vineyard offers ripe dark berry and dried dark cherry fruit flavors. It is elegant and superbly balanced with a soft texture, dense extract, and savory notes. Still quite youthful, it displays firm round tannins and a long, rich finish. Yamhill Carlton is located in a relatively warm area of the Willamette Valley with the earliest harvest dates, but Gran Moraine and its 220 acres is located to the west and receives a cooling influence from the Pacific. 14.2% alc 

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