While we were in the Bay area, I took my wife to a few wine tastings up in Sonoma. Our favorite winery in California, Siduri Wines, is actually located in an expansive warehouse located in Santa Rosa, CA. We were the only visitors on a recent Thursday morning, which made for a true intimate tasting experience. We got to taste the amazing (and large) lineup of Siduri Pinot Noirs and wines from their other label, Novy Family Wines. The winery, started by Adam and Diana Lee (both from Texas), does not own any vineyards, but sources its grapes from throughout Sonoma County, California's Central Coast, and Oregon.
Siduri Wines gets its grapes for its Pinot Noir from top-quality parcels at vineyards like Hirsch (far Sonoma Coast); Pisoni; Gary's; and Rosella's. Most of their single vineyards wines can age a bit while the appellation and county wines are often ready to drink soon after release. Although fruit forward, the wines are true to the varietal with good structure and earthiness. We sampled the velvety 2008 Chehalem Mountains (Oregon) and three wines from California - two from Sonoma including the 2009 Hirsch (my personal favorite) and one from the Santa Lucia Highlands (Central Coast). There was even a sweet, yet crisp white Pinot Noir on this visit (never had a white Pinot before!).
We've enjoyed a lot of their Santa Lucia Highlands and Oregon wines recently and still have several of the remarkable 2007 vintage left to have this holiday season. Prices overall are fair, with some in the low $20s up to around $50 for some of the single vineyards wines. We're definitely looking forward to the 2009 releases.
The Novy label includes Syrahs, Zinfandels and Grenache, all plush yet still refined in style. Like the Siduri wines, the bottles we've had over the past few years are not over-oaked and most people will find something to their liking. We were able to try the Nebbiolo from Stolpman Vineyard (rare varietal for CA) and some delicious Syrahs from both the Russian River (my wife's favorite) and Central Coast (my preference). Novy produces white wines including a Viognier, Chardonnay and a late-harvest dessert wine as well.
It's a pleasant experience going to Siduri. Not only do they not charge for tastings (unlike most high-end Pinot producers in Sonoma), but in both our visits, we've never been pressured to buy wines or join their mailing list. We highly recommend stopping by Siduri to introduce yourself to a great lineup of wines from top to bottom.