2010 Siduri Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

Year: 2010
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 91
Burghound: 89
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.2%
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"Marked by a burst of ripe, juicy, vivid wild berry and blueberry flavors, this is firm at points, fleshy at others, tightening on the finish, where a subtle wet rock taste emerges, imparting a subtle aftertaste. Drink now through 2021. 369 cases made. " (WS)

"A great wine to end this tasting with, the 2010 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe wraps around the palate with juicy dark red fruit, spices, flowers and mint. There is a juicy, expressive quality to the fruit that is highly appealing. This is a fabulous Clos Pepe, considering so many 2010s from this site are wilted, tired and heavily marked by the heat spikes. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2026.

Adam Lee describes 2011 as the coldest vintage he has ever seen. Nevertheless, the 2011 Pinots are very, very pretty, and also in line with previous years in terms of their overall quality. Severe selection was the only way to do that, and it is quite clear that is exactly what Lee did. A higher percentage of barrels ended up in the appellation wines, a testament to the exacting standards at Siduri. I tasted all of the 2011s as final blends, from barrel. Lee planned to bottle the 2011s in August, 2012, with the exception of the Soberanes, Rosella’s and Garys’, all of which are a scheduled to go into bottle in January, 2013. The 2010 Pinots spent 10 months in barrel and were bottled in August, 2011. Lee told me his parcels experienced heat spikes in both August and September, but judging by the wines, he made the right calls before and after. Timing, as they say, is everything." (WA)

"Bright ruby-red. Aromas and flavors of ripe red fruits and candied rose, with a subtle smoky nuance gaining power with air. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, with a spine of juicy acidity keeping the powerful fruit in check. The sweet, long finish features gentle tannic grip and lingering floral and spice notes." (IWC)

"The wine’s natural acidity, purity of texture and gentleness automatically make you think of food. Flavorwise, it’s all about raspberries and cherries, cured meat, cola, spices and smoky oak. It’s delicious to drink now with a great steak, roasted lamb or grilled tuna." (WE)

"An attractive and expressive nose of plum and black cherry liqueur aromas that are trimmed in discreet spice notes leads to suave and very round middle weight flavors that coat the mouth with dry extract. This is very ripe and though it stops short of being roasted there is a very mild touch of bitterness on the otherwise solidly persistent finish. My score offers the benefit of the doubt that the bitterness will round with a few years in bottle as this is clearly built to benefit from and extended cellar stay." (BH)

Winery Notes:
The 2010 vintage at Clos Pepe Vineyard was one characterized by a narrow picking window, somewhat higher than normal brix, and yet outstanding levels of natural acidity. All of this was brought on by a late September heat spike. This heat spike brought the grapes from our three sections closer together in terms of ripeness, pushed sugars up, but interestingly enough, failed to lower the acidity levels.

We started picking the Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir on October 3, 2010 with our Original block of 115. This section is the furthest east in the vineyard with the wind being somewhat blocked by the hills and thus it usually ripens first. Just four days later we picked the Pommard in the middle of the vineyard, and three days after that we picked the lower, Pond section of 115. We chose to utilize some whole clusters in the fermentations on the Original and Pommard sections of the vineyard, but fully destemmed the Pond block. Each lot was inoculated (unusual for us, but fermentation proceeded too quickly with the native yeasts in 2010) and pressed to their own individual barrels at the conclusion of fermentation. Ultimately, after tasting through all of the barrels blind in March of 2011, we came up with a blend that is 6 barrels of our Original Block, 5 barrels of the Pond Section of 115, and 4 barrels of the Pommard clone.

The 2010 Siduri Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir is full of dark berries, spice, and plum flavors. Rich and concentrated, with more tannins than many of the 2010 Pinot Noirs, this wine certainly is approachable enough now to have with a meal, but truly is one that will improve with some time in the cellar.