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by Andrew Chalk

I met Adam Lee, founder of Siduri, in the 1980s when he was working in the wine department at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, and I was a mere consumer, attending the tastings with a thirst for wine and knowledge. When he and wife Deanna announced that they were California bound to create their own winery we all gave them our best wishes, but privately I suspect more people than just I expected to find them, a year later, waiting tables, or something like that, in San Francisco.

How wrong I was. With Siduri, Adam crafted pinot noirs of sophistication and variety. They won awards and plaudits from the most prestigious critics, and established him in the vanguard of California pinot noir producers. He parlayed his talents into a multi-source approach to wine making. Going north to Oregon and south to California’s Central Coast (thus far, he has ignored my suggestions to make a pinot noir in Burgundy).

I just tasted a triad of the 2018 vintage, Adam’s penultimate vintage at Siduri before he handed over the winemaking reins to his handpicked successor, Matt Revelette. Below are the technical notes. The executive summary would be that my palate liked the Santa Barbara the best, then the Russian River, and then the Oregon wine from Willamette Valley. However, all were very acceptable, and your preference may differ.

2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($37)

Appearance: Translucent ruby;

Nose: Forward raspberry, thyme.

Palate: Vibrant acid. Raspberry. Fruit forward. Long expressive finish;

2018 Santa Barbara County ($26)

Appearance: Virtually opaque ruby;

Nose: Ripe, stewed apples, raspberry, chocolate;

Palate: Rich, complex red fruit. Pomegranate. Medium plus acid.

2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($30)

Appearance: Opaque ruby;

Nose: Blueberry, brioche, tobacco;

Palate: Bold tannins, red fruit, medium plus acid. Leather.




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