Many wineries now release multiple versions of a single varietal. It’s often confusing for the consumer to see the name of a winery they recognize, along with their favorite varietal, on similar bottles that can vary widely in price—and in taste.
The factors that go beyond the brand name, and the varietal, are vintage, wines from different years’ harvests can differ in price. The vintage on the bottle refers to the year the grapes were harvested.
Another factor is vineyard. While many vineyards and wineries are one and the same, many wineries produce wines from a number of different vineyards. Some they may own, from others they may just source fruit.
Siduri Wines sources fruit not just from different vineyards, but from different states. I recently had the pleasure of sampling a number of their Pinot Noirs from Oregon. The two standouts are both reasonably priced and can suit most any occasion. The bottles are very much alike. Look for the name of the vineyard near the bottom of the label.
The 2016 Yamhill-Carlton is absolutely delicious with notes of rich black cherry, a little earth and toast. Each note is clearly pronounced yet play together in symphony. It is silky, smooth, with a long, lovely, dry finish. The perfect wine to open and just pour a glass after a long day, though it would also pair well with steak, sharp cheese and dark chocolate. Suggested retail price is $36.
The 2017 from the Willamette Valley is lighter and brighter, with fresh red cherry notes. The flavors here are more lifted. This is an outstanding food wine. It wakes up your palate and is light enough not to compete, but rather compliment, a wide variety of dishes, even lighter foods that you might not think of pairing a red wine with, like summer salads. This wine retails for about $30.