This Will Be Fun For Those Who Create Vintage Charts

We just finished blending some of our 2011 single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. For those who focus on such things, we have alcohol levels from 12.2% to 15% – and that range is just from Sonoma County (actually, just from the Russian River).

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines

Wow! What a year!

Which are the outliers?


Here are the Alcs, pHs, and TAs for all of the Sonoma County Single-Vineyard Pinots:

Hirsch 12.9% 3.68 6.1
Sexton 12.2% 3.69 6.0
Van der Kamp 13.8% 3.72 6.0
Ewald 14.3% 3.71 5.7
Sonatera 13.2% 3.74 5.7
Keefer 14.0 3.8 5.9
Parsons’ 15.0 3.58 5.9
Castro 14.4 3.56 6.0

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines

All those under 14.0% will be deemed feeble, astringent, and acidic; all those over will be undrinkably hot and alcoholic. And the one that is just right will be doomed to oblivion by an 89-point score.


Hilarious! Which critic’s shoulder did you peek over???

Keefer can pull 14’s all day long…

are these pHs and TAs all post-ferment and MLF?

as always, thanks for sharing the info on your wines

Yes, those are post primary and post secondary. We have gone thru and tasted thru every barrel and came up with the barrels that made the cut for the single-vineyard wines and these are the final numbers. We still have the SLH and SRH to go. Sadly, nothing made the single-vineyard cut for Oregon.

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines

Does the Keefer fit into the 14.04 and below or the 14.05 and above tax class? I’ll be showing some 2011 Freeman Keefer barrel samples in Chicago this week.

I’m still baffled by the low conversion rates from 2011, but I like the way the wines taste.

Great information! I can’t wait to use it to make sweeping generalizations about wines I haven’t tasted!


You know how ETS reports — so my Keefer is 14.01% at 20degrees C and 13.97% at 60degrees C. So, yes, I think it fits into the lower category.

As far as conversion rates go, I haven’t spent a lot of time studying them, but have seen your posts. The only one of those wines that was a single lot, made into a single wine, was the Hirsch (the blends of different lots are harder for me to get an exact rate on). That was picked on September 30 at 22.2 brix and the final alcohol is 12.9% for a conversion rate of .581. How does that compare to what you have seen?

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines


What were the pick dates? Any come in after the early Oct rain?

Our 2011 Pinots range from 12.35-13.04%. We actually have one at 11.9% but it won’t be released. I can’t wait to forget this vintage.


Talking Syrah/Grenache - I think our 2011’s are the best yet. The mid-late October weather was beautiful. Optimal ripeness and good acids. However, the yields were criminally low - I was losing money from the moment the pruning crew left. [swoon.gif]
How did your Syrah turn out?


How did your Syrahs look?

So far our 2011 Syrahs look really good. We were worried about getting Horseshoe there but it reached 12.5% and tastes fully ripe (picked in Nov). Our Syrah yields were low but that was because we dropped crop in order to help ripen since the vintage was running so late.

Picking dates in order:

Parsons’ 15.0 3.58 5.9 (9/24)
Ewald 14.3% 3.71 5.7 (9/26)
Castro 14.4 3.56 6.0 (9/27)
Keefer 14.0 3.8 5.9 (9/26-10/3)
Hirsch 12.9% 3.68 6.1 (9/30)
Sonatera 13.2% 3.74 5.7 (10/1-10/12)
Van der Kamp 13.8% 3.72 6.0 (10/2-11/1)
Sexton 12.2% 3.69 6.0 (10/10)

Some before, same after, some during the rain.

As far as Syrahs go…haven’t looked much at them. Ddipped a thief into some of the SLH Syrahs and they look good, but they didn’t get the second rain on October 10th. Honestly, I largely ignore Syrah until July or so.

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines

Wow that is quite the range of final numbers.
I saw from 13.1-14.2% which is pretty normal variation from clones and vineyards I work with.
Conversion rates the last 2 years were .55-.56 with all native ferments.


I’m seeing .565 to .575 this year after many vintages in the .59 to .60 range, so it was definitely a big surprise post harvest when the alcohols were much lower than anticipated. Not a bad thing at all, just surprising. And the PNs from 2011 seem to be holding onto their free SO2s more than they usually do, but it’s probably too soon to draw any conclusions.

Interesting unexplained fact - We usually get conversions in the .52-.56 range for our Sc Mtn fruit. When we made Sonoma fruit, it was closer to .57. Now Bearwallow in Anderson Valley is .56-.60. Maybe the Sc Mtn fruit has more unfermentable sugars?