La Crema Versus Siduri Throwdown Tasting it's all about the dirt - Pinot Noir Terroir Challenge

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 07:30 PM

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"Drinking is like pouring smiles on your brain."

Chris Hardwick

At one-time Pinot Noir was thought to be the world's most finicky grape varietal and that it would only grow in a few places where it could turn out a world class wine.  Today, we can find excellent examples of the Pinot Noir varietal from all over the wine world; Germany, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Tasmania, New Zealand, South Africa, California, Oregon and of course the mother land for this varietal Burgundy, France.

La Crema winery has been known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from California for quite some time now and recently the Jackson family bought the Siduri label giving them an arsenal of California and Oregon’s top vineyard sources. 

Tonight, Wine Watch will showcase the several single vineyard wines from La Crème and Siduri Winery featuring different regions of the Willamette Valley and California with the Brand ambassador from the winery Marita Esteva and Melissa Vorst representing Siduri wines for a throw down of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Jackson Portfolio of wines at the new Wine Watch Wine Bar.

This is a Seated tasting and the fee for this event is $55 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.
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La Crema Versus Siduri Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar
with Special Guest Marita Esteva, Brand Ambassador for La Crema Winery and
Melissa Vorst the West Burgundy Wine Collective Ambassador for Jackson Family Fine Wines
Tuesday, October 24th
7:30pm
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2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Yamhill
Price: $57.50    Sale Price: $29.75

A good amount of dark berry, cherry fruit with lots of spice, 2013 a cooler vintage and more classic in style, some earthy notes coming out as the wine opens, espresso.  A bright and zesty wine on the tongue with silky tannins and a nice freshness to the finish, that spice and earthy character from the nose lasting through the finish.  Finish 35+    Excellent +   

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Siduri Pinot Noir Yamhill Carlton 2014
Price: $37.50       Sale $33.00

This wine is not the same vintage but this is the same dirt just a different hand in the sauce and that is what Pinot Noir is all about the dirt!

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La Crema Pinot Noir Shell Ridge Sonoma Coast 2015
Price: $35.00       Sale $30.80

Pomegranate, orange zest and cedar aromas. Fresh blackberry, plum and black licorice ­flavors are complemented by subtle layers of green tea and toasty oak. Richly textured with supple tannins and vibrant acidity that drive a long finish.

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Siduri Pinot Noir Parsons Vineyard Russian River Valley 2014

(91 Points) Tastes sweet beyond ripeness, with a rich, juicy core of cherry pie that fans out to blueberry and wild berry flavors, gaining depth and structure. Reveals a gravelly earth edge that offsets the ripeness. Wine Spectator

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2012 La Crema Pinot Noir Panorama Vineyard Arroyo Seco
Price: $39.00       Sale $34.32

This wine has a very pretty bouquet with notes of fresh earth to the dark cherry berry fruit, all-spice and dried floral notes, light smoky notes. A good amount of dark spice and black raspberry fruit on the tongue silky, smooth with lovely balance and freshness on finish, along with violet floral notes, nice complexity here. Finish 45+ Excellent +

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Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands
Price: $34.50       Sale $30.36

The production is similar on all of the wines they do a 5 day cold soak, whole cluster varies from year to year, they use different barrels based on the different sites, raspberry and black cherry berry fruit, pretty floral/violet notes with some meaty notes here. A good amount of dark cherry liqueur like fruit, plush velvety texture and some tannins here at the end along with a firm hand of acidity. Finish 45+ Excellent +

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Copain Chardonnay Tout Ensemble 2015
Price: $23.25       Sale $20.46

Fermented in stainless-steel tanks and neutral French oak barrels, our Tous Ensemble Chardonnay is vibrant and elegant, balancing citrus fruit with stony minerality. Delicate aromas of honeysuckle, mandarin blossom and fresh lemon lead to a rich mouthfeel with vibrant acidity and gentle flavors of stone fruits and ripe pear.

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La Crema Chardonnay Saralee's Vineyard Russian River Valley 2015
Price: $33.75       Sale $29.70

Aromas of Meyer lemon, Asian pear, brioche and jasmine. Flavors of baked apple, plum and white peach. Plush and richly textured with juicy yet balanced acidity and integrated toasty barrel spice.

 

Menu

Charcuterie Selection: Turtle Creek Goat Cheese, House Made Venison Jalapeno Salami

Seared Sea Scallops with Creamy Grits, finished with Peach Pear Chutney

Stuffed Pork Loin with Sundried Cherry Pinot Noir Reduction

 

This is a Seated tasting and the fee for this event is $55 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

A bit about La Crema Winery

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La Crema is a winery with a checkered past.  Once known as La Crema Viñera, the winery was founded in 1979 by a group of wine lovers headed by winemaker Rod Berglund with intentions of producing only Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from some of California's most prestigious vineyards.  The winery occupied cramped quarters in an industrial park in Petaluma - its goals were much loftier than its origins.  The very first release - a 1979 Chardonnay from the Ventana Vineyards - was a stunner, as were several other wines produced under the auspices of La Crema Viñera.  The winery quickly attained a cult following among cognoscenti seeking out the best in California.  However, as good as some of the early wines were, others were disappointing.  Some of La Crema's wines languished on the retail shelves, and the winery went belly-up in 1984.  The winery was rescued from bankruptcy by Jason Korman, an East Coast importer of fine wines.  Korman led a group of investors who purchased the winery and immediately began the rebuilding job.  Under the new management team things began to turn around rather quickly.  At the 1986 American Wine Competition, the 1984 La Crema Chardonnay received one of two Platinum medals.  Over the course of the next few vintages, La Crema expanded its production from 7,000 cases to a high in 1989 of 80,000 cases, including almost 22,000 cases of Pinot Noir.  By 1992 La Crema was a household name known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as its highly popular Crême De Tête table wines.  However, the rapid expansion under Korman led to the need for new capital.

In early 1993, La Crema was purchased by the owner and founder of Kendall-Jackson, Jess Jackson.  Jackson has orchestrated what we consider to be the most important success story in the modern era of California wine. It all began in 1983 with Kendall-Jackson Vineyards, a tiny winery operating from Lake County (north of Napa).  In the space of a decade the winery grew from a modest 25,000 case production to over 1,500,000 cases (a decade later in 1993 the winery was still growing at an amazing 20% annually). Not content with the success of one operation, in 1986 Jackson launched a new venture, Cambria Vineyards, which relied on fruit from Santa Barbara's famous Tepusquet Vineyard.  When that vineyard went on the block, Jackson dueled with two Napa mega wineries, Beringer and Robert Mondavi. Jackson made the best offer and wrestled the Tepusquet Vineyard from them.  In the space of seven years Cambria has established itself as one of Santa Barbara's best producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The next Jackson acquisition became Stonestreet in 1990.  The winery, named after Jackson's father, Jess Stonestreet Jackson, occupies the site of the former Stephen Zellerbach estate in southern Alexander Valley, several miles east of Healdsburg.  By 1995 Stonestreet was one of the hottest brands in the U.S. market.  Next Jackson purchased the old Edmeades Winery in Mendocino, revitalized it, and renamed it Edmeades Estate.  The first wines (a 1991 Chardonnay and a 1990 Zinfandel) were released in August of 1992.  In early 1993 Jackson purchased La Crema and later moved the winery to the impressive new facilities of the former Domaine Laurier in Forestville.  In 1994 Jackson launched another label, called Camelot.  This Central Coast winery debuted with some very impressive value wines (particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) at a price point slightly below the excellent Kendall-Jackson "Vintner's Reserve" line of wines.  Jackson recruited the former winemaker at De Loach, Randy Ullom; and Ullom crafted an excellent 1994 Camelot Chardonnay, our pick for "Best Buy Chardonnay of 1995" in The Wine News.  Camelot also has produced an excellent 1993 Pinot Noir. According to statistics compiled by The California Grapevine, the '93 Camelot Pinot Noir won more medals in 1995 wine competitions than any other Pinot produced in California.  In the fall of 1994, Jackson purchased Napa's Robert Pepi Winery, known for its excellent Sauvignon Blancs and Sangiovese.  Pepi wines released under Jackson's auspices have been even better than their predecessors.

Not content with success in California, Jess Jackson has moved to the international arena.  He acquired and is retrofitting a substantial vineyard in Italy's famed Tuscany district - the wines will be released under the estate names of Villa Arceno and Cantico della Croisa.  In 1993 Jackson began an ambitious winery project in Chile with the help of Camelot winemaker Randy Ullom.  The wines under the Vina Calina label were released in the fall of 1995 at a very ambitious price of $20/bottle.  In order to get more fruit sources for his burgeoning wine empire, the "Jackson Express" purchased Sonoma's 7000 acre Gauer Ranch in late spring of 1995. 

 

La Crema Wines Available

 

La Crema Pinot Gris Monterey 2015
Price: $26.00       Sale $22.88

Nectarine, citrus blossom, honeysuckle and wet river stone aromas. Anjou pear, Braeburn apple and Meyer lemon flavors.  Lively acidity with a lengthy, but refined finish.

La Crema Chardonnay Eola Amith Hills 2013
Price: $39.50       Sale $34.76

La Crema Chardonnay Kelli Ann
Price: $52.50       Sale $46.20

Aromas of baked pear, nectarine and crème brûlée. Flavors of yellow apple, plum, toasted hazelnut and a touch of nutmeg. Richly textured and concentrated with balanced acidity and subtle toast.

La Crema Chardonnay Los Carneros
Price: $36.00       Sale $31.68

Aromas of golden peach, orange blossom and key lime. Flavors of Cara Cara orange and baked pear. Richly textured and concentrated with balanced acidity and subtle toast.

La Crema Chardonnay Monterey
Price: $26.00       Sale $22.88

On the nose, lemon, grilled pineapple and oyster shell. On the palate, peach, papaya and crisp tangerine notes are complemented by a touch of spice and complex minerality. Balanced acidity lingers on a long ­finish.

Dungeness crab or pan-sautéed petrale sole, or any fish and shellfish are ideal with this wine. Cheese like manchego is another fantastic option.

La Crema Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Price: $36.00       Sale $31.68

Aromas of meyer lemon, nectarine and jasmine. Flavors of yellow plum, d’Anjou pear, tangerine and toasted hazelnut. Richly textured, velvety and concentrated with balanced acidity and subtle toast.

La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
Price: $26.00       Sale $22.88

Floral, lemon, green apple, subtle oak and spice aromas. Lemon drop, white stone fruit, yellow plum and honeydew melon flavors. Richly textured and concentrated, with balanced acidity that drives a lingering finish.

La Crema Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2013
Price: $52.50       Sale $46.20

Classic notes of Anderson Valley blueberry and violet framed by baking spice and conifer. On the palate, additions of brambly fruit, espresso, vanilla and black tea.

La Crema Pinot Noir Carneros 2014
Price: $42.75       Sale $37.62

Aromas of cherry, boysenberry and hints of new leather. Flavors of black plum, raspberry, espresso and subtle savory and earthy elements. Midweighted and firm with integrated tannins balanced by juicy acidity.

La Crema Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2014
Price: $48.50       Sale $42.68

A nose brimming with violets, cherry pie and earth. Flavors of pomegranate, raspberry and anise. Nuanced yet concentrated.

Go bold with roast pork, portobello mushrooms and pizza, but keep them bright and elegant with cranberries, shaved pecorino and sun-dried tomatoes.

 

La Crema Pinot Noir Eola Amity 2014
Price: $48.50       Sale $42.68

Red currant, cranberry and raspberry aromas are complemented by subtle forest floor and smoke notes. On the palate, pomegranate, red cherry and cedar. Racy acidity and finely knit tannins tie it all together.

La Crema Pinot Noir Fog Veil
Price: $72.00       Sale $63.36

Aromas of dried rose petal, boysenberry and black plum. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry and espresso are complemented by subtle layers of dark chocolate and exotic spice. Richly textured with fine tannins and balanced acidity that drives a long finish.

La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey 2015
Price: $30.50       Sale $26.84

Aromas of black plum, cherry, rhubarb and hints of earth and loam. Flavors of red plum, raspberry and blood orange are underpinned by distinctive river stone minerality and savory umami character. Plush and richly textured with juicy, yet balanced acidity and integrated toasty barrel spice.

La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2013
Price: $42.75       Sale $37.62

(90 Points)  At 12,155 cases, the delicious 2013 Pinot Noir Russian River is the largest cuvée. It exhibits classic notes from Russian River, including loamy soil/earthy notes along with black cherry jam, baking spices and fruit cake aromas as well as a hint of sassafras. This is a meaty, fleshy, reasonably well-endowed Pinot Noir to drink over the next 2-4 years. The Wine Advocate

La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Price: $31.50       Sale $27.72

La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
Price: $37.50       Sale $33.00

La Crema Pinot Noir Rose Monterey
Price: $30.50       Sale $26.84

 

 

A bit about Siduri Winery:

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Siduri, named for the Babylonian goddess of wine, is the result of our founders' mutual love of Pinot Noir—and a dream that they could make great wines of their own.

Buoyed by that dream, Adam Lee and Dianna Novy left their native Texas and moved to the Sonoma County wine country. They spent years working at small, family-owned wineries and using any and all free time learning everything they could about growing grapes and making wine.

And it paid off—the first Siduri Wines release, in 1994, was met with great critical success. About that same time, perhaps not coincidentally, Adam and Dianna married.

Today, Siduri’s breadth and depth of Pinot Noirs is truly unique. We specialize in cool-climate Pinot Noir, producing only single-vineyard, single-variety wine from twenty vineyards stretching from Santa Barbara to the Willamette Valley. Why? Because we believe that great wine is made in the vineyard. To that end, we’ve developed long-term relationships with some of the West’s most sought-after growers and vineyards. And we purchase the majority of our fruit by the acre rather than the ton.

We also believe in minimal intervention so that the winemaking forwards, rather than overshadows, what happens in the vineyard. To that end, our wines are unfiltered and unfined, maximizing the expression of these very diverse sites. But perhaps most importantly, we believe that wine should be a pleasure, that serious wine and serious fun aren’t mutually exclusive. So in our drive to make great Pinot Noir, we ultimately hope for something relatively simple—good wine to be enjoyed with good friends, good family and good food.

Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2014
Price: $37.50       Sale $33.00

The 2014 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a blend of fruit from the John Sebastiano, Clos Pepe, Cargasacchi, and Lindley Vineyards.  The actual blend is 64% John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir, 22% Clos Pepe, 9% Lindley, and 6% Cargasacchi. Clonally, this wine is a blend of 8 different clones which also provides for a wide range of flavors within one wine.

Siduri Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Santa Lucia Highlands 2014
Price: $48.00       Sale $42.24

I love the 2014 Sierra Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir!  As a newer vineyard sometimes it takes a while for us to figure out the best representation of a single vineyard wine.  After several very good Sierra Mar Pinot Noirs, this 2014 finally approaches all that I believe this vineyard can be.  Perhaps most notable is that this wine is a good bit more Clone 23 Pinot Noir than any of our previous Sierra Mar releases.  In fact, it is 80% Clone 23, 10% Clone 777, and 10% Pommard Clone.  We aged it in barrel for 6 months before we came up with the final blend.  At that point we racked the appropriate barrels together and sent this wine back to oak until January of 2016.  This is longer than we normally age our Sierra Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir, but we believed that this wine had the concentration and structure to truly be a superstar.

Siduri Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp 2015
Price: $48.00       Sale $42.24

Renowned wine writer Antonio Galloni has already reviewed this wine and gave it a 91 point rating, describing it this way, “Savory herbs, tobacco, licorice, mint and earth notes give the 2015 Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp Vineyard its distinctive, mountain influenced personality. The intensity of the vintage is evident, but there is more than enough complexity and aromatic nuance to complement the richness of the fruit. This is a very pretty wine.”

Siduri Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2015
Price: $24.00       Sale $21.12

Wine Watch review: Black raspberry fruit here on the nose with hints of violet and fresh earth, a good amount of perfume.  Fresh and zesty on the tongue with black raspberry coulis like fruit and a nice hand of perfumed floral notes and some tannins at the end.  Finish 45+   Excellent              .

Siduri Pinot Noir Cargasacchi 2013
Price: $69.75       Sale $61.38

(91 Points) Fermented with 15% whole clusters (the vintage had tiny berries and Adam said that even this small percentage yielded almost more stems than berries), the 2013 Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard offers soaring notes of stems, spice, underbrush, flowers and juicy berry fruit in a forward, sexy and fruit-filled style. Called a "love it or hate it" style by Adam, it seemed classic Pinot Noir with stem influence to me. I'd happily drink it anytime over the coming 4-6 years.  The Wine Advocate

Siduri Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains 2014
Price: $33.00       Sale $29.04

Red fruit flavors, a slight forest floor complexity and good levels of acidity for a long, clean finish. Over our 19 year history we have worked with two of these AVAs, ultimately choosing to focus solely on the Chehalem Mountains. This is not because we believe it to be superior to the other regions, but simply because it is the northernmost and coolest part of the Willamette Valley. As such, it is the most different from our California Pinot Noirs, making the wines that emerge from it truly unique in Siduri’s portfolio of Pinots.

Siduri Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Santa Rita Hills 2013
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44

(94 Points) My favorite of the Sta. Rita Hills releases, the 2013 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard offers sensational purity and elegance in its darker berry fruits, crushed flowers, underbrush and hints of mint. Seamless, silky and refined, it still has plenty of fruit and texture, and shows terrific focus on the finish. I'm a fan and this bottle drank beautifully over the three days I had the bottle open. It will have a decade or more of overall longevity. The Wine Advocate

Siduri Pinot Noir Garys Santa Lucia Highlands 2014
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44

(92 Points) Showing a more savory edge, with lots of dried herbs, leather, autumn leaves and assorted red fruit characteristics, the 2014 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard is medium-bodied, nicely texture and has fine tannin that emerge on the finish. Despite the savory aromatic slant, it's sweetly fruited and balanced on the palate. I suspect it will show nicely on release.  The Wine Advocate

Siduri Pinot Noir Hirsch Sonoma Coast 2012
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44

The 2012 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir immediately shows that it is from the Sonoma Coast with red fruits intermingled with a sea foam, salinity and some savory dried herb character. The wine is medium bodied, with hints of vanillin from the oak. The finish is beginning to show length and the wine truly emerges with several hours being opened.

Siduri Pinot Noir Pisoni Santa Lucia Highlands 2014
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44

(94 Points) Maybe the best wine from Adam in 2014 is the 2014 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard. Giving up the classic minerality that's common from this site, it has lots of sweet black raspberry and violet nuances, medium-bodied depth and richness and a fresh, focused, elegant style on the palate. It showed more tannic structure with time in the glass, yet given the fruit and balance, I've no doubt it will be approachable on release. The Wine Advocate

Siduri Pinot Noir Rosella's Central Coast 2012
Price: $48.00       Sale $42.24

(93 Points) Delightfully rich and harmonious, brimming with fresh, vibrant raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry flavors. Beautifully balanced, with firm acidity and tannins providing the framework. Shows great length on the finish. Drink now through 2022. Wine Spectator

Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2015
Price: $36.00       Sale $31.68

The key to our 2015 Siduri Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is in the diversity of sources. This sounds odd, given that the wine comes entirely from within the Russian River Valley AVA, but this region is large and possesses a myriad of soils, exposures, and unique terroirs that together produce a superb representation of the whole of the Russian River Valley. This 2015 offering showcases this area in all its complexity while also making for a wine that is imminently drinkable upon release.