January 28, 2008

2005 Siduri "Terra De Promissio" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

I think in some little section of their brain, every serious wine lover has the dream of dropping everything, moving to wine country and becoming a successful winemaker. For some, this dream becomes a reality, and for Adam and Dianna Lee, I guess you could say it's a dream come true. Back in the early 90's, the two had a passion for Pinot Noir and took a chance by moving from Texas to California, with no prior winemaking experience to succeed in making some of the best single vineyard Pinot around.

After moving to California, the Lee's decided to take their life's savings, and make a little wine. Lo and behold, the first vintage in 1994 turned out to be pretty damn good. So good, in fact, they drunkenly decided to drop a bottle off on Robert Parkers doorstep at the Meadowood Resort, like a gift wrapped present from the stork. Upon sobering up, they realized what they had done and frantically tried to get the bottle back, to no avail. Well, old boy Parker ended up hailing it as "terrific," and gave it a score of 90+. As novice winemakers, what better publicity can you ask for?

This was just the beginning of their good fortune. For the next vintage, they scored top grapes from Hirsch Vineyard, who sold to Kistler and Williams Selyem, among others. For two new winemakers in California, this must have seemed like a gift sent down from the gods. Even if you take away the scores and reviews, the quality of Siduri wines will continue to speak for themselves. Throughout the years they've focused solely on single vineyard Pinot Noir, letting the terroir of the vineyard express itself with great results, as well as branching off to include a second label, Novy, which focuses on Syrah.

One thing that I love about the Lee's is that they're genuinely nice people... Family oriented folk that wanted to make wine because they had a true passion for it. They have a large production with prices ranging from $19 to the mid 50's, and with the skyrocket price of some Pinot Noir, who can be mad at that? Producing single vineyard Pinot Noir from 27 different vineyards and countless 90+ scores from wine critics, Siduri is not going anywhere, and they still don't even own their own vines, which is amazing. Combine that, two children, and their other Novy, and you'll see that the Lee's are very, very busy.

Tasting Notes:
Dark ruby red in the glass, I've had this wine 3 separate times now and on each occasion there is some degree of a burnt rubber aroma. I can't say I'm a huge fan of that but after opening up a bit, there's a nice mix of dark fruit and nice ripe cherry, along with a funky core of earth and dirt on the nose. Slightly hot, there's an abundance of nice red fruit in the mouth, ending with a bit of spice. Pleasant finish on the medium- short side. Unfortunately, I tasted this wine way too young, and I think it should have at least another year in the bottle. Should you open one soon, definitely decant.

Price: $44

Score: 85-88

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