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Siduri Wines Shine in 2012

Winemaker Adam Lee of Siduri Wines told me, “2012 is a winemaker’s dream and a wine writer’s nightmare because nothing exceptional happened.” It has been jokingly called the “Goldilocks Vintage,” because it was not too hot and not too cold. The growing season was moderately warm without excessive heat spikes. The result is dreary wine writing but really good wines.

In 2012, bud break, flowering, set and harvest were generally on time. Yields were remarkably large, especially in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, and only slightly larger than normal in the Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Yields in Oregon were below normal, but the quality of the fruit was extremely high.

The result was that Adam did quite a bit of bleed off (saignée) particularly in Sonoma County, varying anywhere from 10% to 25% depending on the lot. Generally acids were in line and Adam felt comfortable doing a slightly higher percentage of whole cluster on the ferments. He did inoculate more than usual, mainly late in the season as he was running out of room. A number of 2012 wines were ready to go and bottled in August but some have been kept back until January for bottling. The wines are gluten free and vegan friendly. All wines are bottled under screw cap closure.

Overall the 2012 Siduri Pinot Noirs show more flesh than in 2011 and are quite inviting at this young age. Still, the vineyard-designated wines will benefit from another 6 to 12 months in bottle. Some of the vineyard-designated wines are stunning in 2012. The new labels for the 2012 vintage are very classy.

2012 Siduri Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 1,034 cases, $22. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is appealing and picks up interest over time in the glass offering aromas of candied cherries, rose petals and pie spice. An Oregon-styled wine with mid weight flavors of tart cherries and cranberries, mild tannins, and a tight, hi-pitched finish. Score: 87

2012 Siduri Shaw Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir

14.35% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.62, 75 cases, $39. Vineyard owned by Ralph and Marlene Shaw and managed by Bob Grimes. The vineyard has been inconsistent over the past dozen years, but was stellar in 2012. Aged in 66% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Interesting aromas of dark berries and plums with hints of pine forest, wood box, and tea leaf. Discreetly concentrated and flavorful exhibiting an array of fruits including ripe strawberry, black raspberry and pomegranate. The oak is supportive but not intrusive, the tannins are modest and the finish has a burst of palate cleansing acidity. I like this wine for its acid-driven vigor. Score: 88

2012 Siduri Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 3,575 cases, $32. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine is Russian River Valley Pinot Noir personified with plenty of appealing Bing cherry, rose petal, tea and dark chocolate aromas on the nose, and a judicious core of Bing cherry, spice and cola flavors on the palate. The tannic backbone is supple, oak is nicely integrated, and there is enough uplifting acidity to bring the fruit to life. Score: 88

2012 Siduri Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 3,019 cases, $32. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is flush with black cherry, black raspberry, anise and spice perfume. Dark fruits including blackberry and plum fill the mouth with flavor that persists on the finish. The wine has the typical structural muscle shown by wines from this region. A solid, fruit-driven offering that aims to please. Score: 88

2012 Siduri Bucher Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.69% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.60, 100 cases, $44. Inaugural release from this vineyard located on Westside Road. Owned by John and Diane Bucher, the Bucher Vineyard is on a hillside with various aspects. Grapes were harvested at moderate levels of sugar over a two week window. The lots were fermented separately. Half of the wine came from the newest section of the vineyard (“Forklift” Block) which produced the wine with the greatest concentration and interest. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intense aromas of black cherries, grilled peach and toasty oak. Succulent and sappy on the palate with plenty of black cherry goodness, carrying a tarry, earthy, even barnyard undertone that Burgundy lovers may relish. Easy to drink, with finishing intensity. Score: 88

2012 Siduri Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.59% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.63, 517 cases, $52. From six separate sections of the vineyard. Each section was treated differently, using whole clusters on some but not on others, adding yeast to the must on some, but not on others, etc. The ultimate blend includes five out of the six sections. Clones are Pommard, 2A, 777, 115 and 114. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze, baking spices and sandalwood. The delicious and seductive core of juicy iced cherry and red berry flavors is wrapped in gossamer tannins. Beautifully composed and harmonious with a refreshing finish of cherry goodness. Keefer Ranch terroir really shows through in this wine. Score: 94

2012 Siduri Pratt Vineyard-Sexton Road Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.66% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.63, 282 cases, $48. 25% whole cluster in the Pommard section of the vineyard. Other clones include 777 and 23. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. This is the kind of Pinot perfume that drives pinotphiles crazy. Uplifting aromas of cherry latté, spiced Halloween punch, and black raspberry preserves lead to a delicious core of sappy black raspberry, black plum and spice flavors. Mouth coating from entry to finish with complimentary oak highlights. A pleasure nest. Score: 94

2012 Siduri Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

15.27% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.65, 444 cases, $52. Each section picked at ideal ripeness with harvest spread over a month’s time. Each clone (943, 23, 777 and Pommard) was fermented individually, with winemaking treatment varying depending on the fruit condition. A bit more whole cluster than in previous years. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddishpurple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of Bing cherries, red rose petals and potpourri. Mouth watering flavors of peak-ripened fruits including black cherry, black raspberry and strawberry. Very smooth and seductive on the palate with welcoming concentration, finishing with a pleasing burst of robust fruit flavor. The wine picks up interest and intensity over time in the glass and the balance is spot on, portending a long life ahead. Score: 93

2012 Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.68, 423 cases, $55. First single-vineyard Pinot Noir release from the 2012 vintage. Sourced from three sections of the vineyard which were fermented separately. Some whole cluster in two of the three sections. The final blend included 37% of the barrels, a strict selection not driven by profit but by quality. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark red and black cherry berry mix with a hint of oak vanillin. Delicious, intense flavors of dark berries and black plums, nicely spiced with a lush, long finish. The darkest fruited, most tannic, and most powerful wine in the 2012 Siduri lineup. When this wine enters your mouth, the experience is scintillating. If this wine doesn’t make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you must be undead. A distinctive wine that is tré Pisoni. Score: 95

2012 Siduri Cargassachi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.69% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.68, 211 cases, $52. 100% clone 115. Vineyard picked in two sections giving a mix of flavor profiles. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is quite typical of this vineyard with aromas of black berry and stone fruits, black currant, mesquite, iron and earth. Plush, soft, rich and inviting on the palate, this wine offers a mouthful of earth-kissed purple and black fruits perfectly matched to ripe tannins. The intense, grandiose, and aromatic finish is full of juicy fruit pleasure. Wines from this vineyard can be somewhat animale in character and brooding, but this wine sparkles with freshness and vibrancy as well as offering inviting finesse with power. The best Cargassachi Vineyard Pinot Noir I have ever tasted. Scary to think this will get better with more time in bottle. Score: 94

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