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Monday, December 6, 2010

Siduri/Novy and Dehlinger Open Houses

Image from
Saturday, December 4, 2010.

Well, that was a good day!   Both Siduri and Dehlinger are top-quality producers and are generally closed to the public, but they both had open house events on the same day (and are about ten minutes apart).

The wines are listed from my favorite to least.

Siduri Pinot Noir

2008 Sonatera Vyd, Sonoma Coast, $49
Great fruit and balance.  Rich, dark, dense.

2009 Gary's Vyd, Santa Lucia Highlands, $51
Very nice. Just a bit tart, complex.

2009 Keefer Ranch Vyd, Green Valley, $49
Rich and spicy with great balance for a young wine.  This one is going to be good!

2009 Cargasacchi Vyd, Santa Rita Hills, $54
Bit earthier, herbs, red fruit, tobacco. Tight.

2009 Sonoma Coast, $30
Rich and spicy.  A good price.

2008 Beran Vyd, Willamette Vly, $39
Similar to the other Willamette wine, but spicier

2009 Arbre Vert Vyd, Willamette Vly, $39
Lighter, lean, good acid. Still in its youth

2009 Pisoni Vyd, Santa Lucia Highlands, $55
In past years this has been my favorite from Siduri, but not this time. Predominate dirt and not enough fruit.  Maybe it's just shut down in its youth?

2009 Santa Lucia Highlands, $30
Deep, rich, a bit hot. Needs time. Just not sure about the alcohol taste.

2009 Hirsch Vyd, Sonoma Coast, $54
Red fruit, cola, much lighter, too soft, no finish.

2009 Sonoma County, $20
Murky, muddy, stemmy, oaky.

Notes on Siduri Pinots:
Really, any of the top five were all very good wines now, and some may be great wines in time. The Sonoma Coast Pinot at $30 is a heckuva bargain. 
If you like the leaner style and will age the wines for awhile the two Oregon Pinots are a good deal at $39 and should be outstanding food wines.
I've had the cheap-o $20 Sonoma County Pinot from Siduri before and was disappointed then, and still am.  Overall, though, some great wines. 
I'm still deciding on the '09s as they're just coming out.  They seem deep, dark, and structured -- so far.  I also believe I prefer the '07s and '08s -- so far.

Novy Syrah

2007 Santa Lucia Highlands, $27
Good structure, complexity, great food wine.

2007 Christensen Vyd, Russian River Vly, $27
Thick, rich, soft

2007 Rosella's Vyd, Santa Lucia Highlands, $29
A bit earthy and floral. Dark, black fruit.

2007 Russian River Vly, $27
Just okay.  You'd want to drink this one now.

2006 Judge Family Vyd, Bennett Vly, $20
Light, spicy, tannins, dry.

Besides Syrah there are several other wines under the Novy label that I didn't try.  The top two on my list stood out from the rest.

Dehlinger Winery

Yep, I hadn't been here in years and it still looks the same.  Tom puts his time and money into the vineyard and winemaking, not the facility.  That is, letting the wines do the showing off, rather than the castle, chateau, or caves.

I didn't take notes at Dehlinger so I don't have the vintage years or prices, so all I can say is they were the current releases.  But if you're not on their mailing list you're not likely to find most of these wines.  Following is what I remember as the highlights.

Russian River Estate Pinot.  Very nice, but not great, didn't "wow" me. Firm, earthy, some tannins, ageable.  Good complexity.  

Goldridge Pinot.  Red lush fruit, velvety, somewhat soft, but good acidity.  DEE-licious!

Russian River Estate Syrah.  Deep, rich, bit spicy, firm, but smooth, balanced.  Excellent.

Russian River Estate Cabernet.  The most "not ready yet" wine of the day. Inky and complex. Significant, but not drying tannins.

Yes, the Goldridge Pinot Noir and the Syrah stood out.  Outstanding wines.