Every now and then the fates come together and I get to have an awesome experience.  This last week was one of those times.

I was able to attend a private tasting of Siduri Wines Pinot Noirs and Novy Family Wines Syrahs at the amazing Aria here in Las Vegas.  If you’re outside of Las Vegas and suddenly feel a flood of envy, well, I’m good with that. I would be too!

Adam Lee (along with his wife Dianna) are the founders of Siduri and have one of the most unusual stories I’ve ever heard.  In a nutshell, they are native Texans.  They met, found that they had a mutual passion for Pinot Noir, fell in love, decided to move to California to make killer Pinot, and they succeeded.


Yes, they succeeded.  Not only have they succeeded in their venture, but they’ve become a name to be reckoned with in the world of Sonoma Pinot.  For more head-shaking, incredible story information, you have to go to their website, Siduri.com. Their story is amazing, especially since they don’t actually own vineyards.  Read about them and you’ll be, as the English say, gobsmacked!

Adam is laid back, unassuming, unpretentious, and such a regular guy. He’s very enthusiastic about his wines, and he should be; they’re phenomenal.

Let’s get to the wines.

Adam Lee and me!
Adam Lee and me!

I tasted ten Siduri Wines Pinot Noirs and two Novy Family Wines Syrahs. Was I in heaven or what?  I will list them below and give what passes for tasting notes because I couldn’t help myself. I hope I can read my scratch since I didn’t use an actual notebook, but the slip of paper that had the wine listed.  As an aside, I scribbled notes for the first five wines and then did the notes on the opposite side of the paper for the others.  There was much spitting and dumping which broke my heart. Okay, so I did more dumping since I’m still uncertain about spitting in public.  The dribble issue,  you see.

The Pinot  Noirs

2011 Siduri Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir: Medium-dark, quite translucent.  Quintessential Oregon Pinot, it was very light in body with a minerally finish.

2012 Siduri Shaw Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir: Darker, more depth, with a Rhodolite Garnet color. Cali style with dark fruit. (It’s from Williamette Valley. A real surprise.)

2011 Siduri Sonatera Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast:  Medium color, medium depth, bright nose, amazing fruit and acidity.

2011 Siduri Van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Mountain:  Darker style, brooding Pinot, right fruit nose, tannins less soft, medium plus acidity. (As an aside, I revisited this because Sonoma Mountain is not “known” for its Pinot the way that RRV and Sonoma Coast are. Much darker in color than the others.)

2011 Siduri Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Lucia:  Looks very young, pure purpley-red, black cherry, medium acidity, long finish.

2011 Siduri Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Lucia:  Nose similar to the Soberanes, more tannins but silky, long, dry-fruit finish.

It was at this time that I realized that I was running out of room for my scribbled notes.  Yes, I apparently was the only one taking notes, but that’s because I’m obsessed.  So I switched to the other side of the sheet of paper since the first side was beginning to look like a five year old had decided to practice on it.  What do you know – there was lots of blank space!

2011 Siduri Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Lucia:  Purpley-red, translucent, clear, bright, no suspended particles. Black cherries, cherries, strawberries, touch of smoke. Palate same as nose, silky (!) mouthfeel and soft, lingering tannin. Long plummy finish.

2012 Siduri Russian River Valley Pinot Noir:  Purpley-red, medium depth, black cherry, cigar ash, strawberry, spice. Palate the same, medium finish.

2012 Siduri Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir Russian River Valley:  Purpley-red, berries, cherries, Burgundy nose, beautiful Pinot perfume. I could date this nose.  On the palate, erotic. Silky mouthfeel, complex, medium acidity, long, luxurious finish.  My WOTN*.

2012 Siduri Sierra Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Lucia:  Darker than others. More depth, more perfumed, less earth than previous wines. Cherries! Dark cherries and spice on palate, medium plus acidity, long long finish with some chalkiness.  Interesting and yummy wine.

In addition to the yummy Pinots, there were two Novy Family Wines: a 2011 Novy Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah and 2010 Novy Susan’s Hill Vineyard Syrah.  I remember liking the Susan’s Hill Vineyard the best, but I can’t remember how!  That’s because I was in Pinot heaven.

Downstairs at the Aria
Downstairs at the Aria

The only glass of Pinot I actually drank (yes, I was actually just tasting. I wanted to have my wits and equilibrium intact) was the Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot.  Absolutely luscious. That confirmed the WOTN status for me.  The amazing thing about the entire Pinot evening was that each one was wildly different from the other, but each one was undeniably a Pinot Noir. How do they do that?!?

As always, my tasting notes were my impressions of those wines at that time, no doubt influenced by the numbers of people, the numbers of bottles, the amount of food, the conversations, and the inevitable distractions.  I did it anyway. That’s how I roll.

After a couple of hours of tasting, noshing, and hanging out comparing our individual impressions, my friends and I went to Sirio Ristorante.  This is not a restaurant review, but suffice it to say that my Pappardelle with Foraged Mushrooms, Cipolinni Onions and garnished with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Black Truffles was delicious. Along with the Dolcetto, it was the perfect ending to a satisfying evening. And lest I forget, a shout-out to Sean, our Sommelier!

I am now waiting for the arrival of my two bottles of the Keefer Vineyard Pinot. Yes, I do put my (miniscule) money where my mouth is.  I liked it that much.


*Wine Of The Night






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