Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.



Novy logo



Novy is the “sister” winery of Adam and Dianna (Novy) Lee’s Siduri Winery.  All things Pinot Noir carry the Siduri label, everything else gets Novy.  If you see a wine with either label, I recommend grabbing a bottle (or a case).  You are guaranteed a quality wine at an exceptional price.



The Winery (Adam’s Reflections)

Welcome to 2014!  For us, 2014 is a year to celebrate and also to reflect, as it was 20 years ago that we started Siduri Wines.  Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we’d end up where we are, two decades later, doing what we do.  In the introduction to this year’s newsletters, we will share some of the stories that brought us to where we are now.


It was actually in 1993 that we first met, at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas.  I had taken a job as one of the Wine Buyers there while Dianna had started in the Epicure Department.  We worked right next to each other and, soon after, we started dating.  Dianna likes to tell people that she went out with me because I had good wine and because I was the only straight guy that worked at Neimans.


We soon started talking about moving out to California (specifically the Russian River Valley) and getting involved in the wine business, though I initially considered being a wine writer rather than a winemaker.  I moved out first and even started a publication called “Vintages, Vines, and Wines” and Dianna followed several months later.  The idea of actually making wine was largely hers.  Funded with $24,000 (our combined savings) we placed an advertisement in a publication called “Wine County Classifieds” looking for Pinot Noir grapes.  We visited three different sites and eventually chose one site, that allowed us to buy an acre’s worth of grapes and do much of the farming ourselves, and we were on our way.


It is fitting that in this newsletter, three of the four wines come from the Russian River Valley, the place we have called our home for the past two decades.  The Russian River Valley is a special place, both for us and for producing remarkable wines.  Both the vintage and the wines produced in 2012 are proving to be truly remarkable.  We hope that you enjoy them and enjoy this first trip down memory lane.


More information about Novy is available on their website by clicking here.  The site could use an update, the site lists the 2010 vintage of this wine as the current release.  The Siduri site is much more current and contains a ton of great information.



Novy pic



2012 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley – $18.99

This wine uses grapes from three vineyards in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.  Elsbree Vineyards supplies 63% of the grapes with Papera Ranch (25%) and Carlisle Vineyard (12%) supplying the remaining fruit.  The younger vines from the Elsbree Vineyard supplies good fruit characteristics with the fruit from the two older vineyards providing darker fruit and adding complexity.


The lots were fermented separately and after the final blend was chosen, the wines were racked into oak barrels for additional aging.  There were 1084 cases produced and the wine has a suggested retail price of $22.


This wine has 15.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright, deep ruby color.  The familiar smelling nose has brambly berries, mocha, dusty minerals, candied cherries, vanilla, spicy oak, licorice and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Spicy berries, pepper and dusty minerals pop out first on the palate with vanilla and mocha coming in later.  The finish has good length with some spicy oak coming in late.  This is on the young side but is still very tasty.  This is a steal if you can grab it for under $20 a bottle.  (91 pts)

2012 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley

2012 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley




Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

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Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.






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Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:


Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.