Siduri Wines, Willamette Valley (Oregon) Pinot Noir 2018

($35):  Siduri, named for the Babylonian goddess of wine, specializes in Pinot Noir, especially single vineyard bottlings.  According to their website they make only single vineyard wines from a total of 20 vineyards throughout California and Oregon.  Fortunately, they have expanded their production and now produce blended wines from three appellations: Willamette Valley in Oregon, plus two from California, specifically, Santa Barbara County, and the Russian River Valley.  These additions to their portfolio are a boon for consumers because each of the wines is easy to recommend and reasonably priced — at least for Pinot Noir.  Plus, if you taste the three side-by-side, it allows you to taste and discern the differences among the AVAs.  Everything except where the grapes are grown is the same: same vintage, same grape, same winemaking team.  So, the only difference is the origin of the grapes.  The verdict, as you will see, is that terroir is alive and well in the USA.  Siduri’s Willamette Valley bottling comes from grapes grown in three AVAs within the valley:  Yamhill-Carlton, Chehalem Mountains, and Eola-Amity.   Racy and juicy, it delivers far more that bright fruitiness.  Indeed, savory notes are clear and balance the red raspberry-like quality.   A welcome hint of bitterness in the finish adds to its appeal.  Less ripe than Siduri’s Russian River Valley or Santa Barbara bottlings, this one shows the understated charm that Oregon’s Willamette Valley delivers.
93 Michael Apstein May 5, 2020