Medium ruby color; cherry, raspberry, strawberry on the nose; cherry, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, oak on the palate.
Dry; elegant, soft, etherial. This is Siduri’s entry level pinot sourced from six vineyards. They make other significantly more expensive pours from individual vineyards, and those certainly are worth experiencing, but this does very nicely, too. Reflects both the distinctive cool climate Willamette Valley terroir—light, not Burgundy and certainly not California pinot noirs. Willamette growers and makers are establishing a delicious and important style and pinot noir wine experience of their own.
Siduri is a cult pinot noir from winemaker Adam Lee. He sources vineyards from the Willamette Valley in the Pacific Northwest to the Santa Rita Hills in California and strives to reflect the terroir of each vineyard. Siduri wines reflect superbly selected fruits, but they also reflect the superior skills of Adam Lee, who knows how to get out of the way and allow his vines and grapes to express themselves. In wine, especially in pinot noir, less winery intervention is more when you start with excellent fruit.
The Siduri story began when Adam and his wife Dianna moved from Texas to California. In Texas, he was the wine buyer for Neiman Marcus and she worked in the epicure department. Adam came to California with hopes of being a wine writer. He and his wife put their savings into the adventure. They found a grape grower who sold them grapes from one acre of his vineyard.
The Lees nursed the vineyard and produced four barrels of pinot noir. In a charming story available on a video on the Siduri website (worth watching), Adam recounts how he and Dianna drank a bit too much of the wine one night and recklessly left a bottle with the concierge at a hotel where Robert Parker was staying. As recounted in the video, they woke up next morning and asked “what have we done?” Not to worry. Parker loved the effort and ranked it among the highest pinots of the year. A business was born. And then it flourished. Texas kids make good on the Left Coast.
It did not end there. In 2015, Kendall-Jackson Family Estates acquired Siduri and the Lee’s non-pinot label, Novy. Lee remains the winemaker. Kendall-Jackson put new money into the operation—renovating the tasting room and other improvements. There are two dozen or more individual labels included in the Siduri pinot noir efforts, plus non-pinot offerings under the Novy label, which emphasize syrah and zinfandel.
Siduri is the Sumerian goddess of wine. She welcomed the hero in the Epic of Gilgamish to a garden with its tree of life hung with ruby red fruits with tendrils. She is a wise female divinity associated with fermentation of both wine and beer. Her name means “young woman.”
Siduri Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2020 is a superb entry-level pour into the delicious world of Siduri pinot noir. Elegant, easy drinker, an ideal introduction to pinot. Lacks great complexity and depth, but still punches above its weight at its admirable QPR. You want more, Siduri can supply with its single-vineyard effort.
Pair with salmon, red snapper, swordfish; charcuterie; patés and terrines; French dishes with light creamy sauces; lamb; pork; mushrooms. This also works splendidly as a solo sipper with neutral wine crackers during engaging conversations, or even sipped when you are alone with a good book. Cheese—goat cheeses, brie; humbolt fog, gruyère, comté, emmenthal, gouda. $17-22