The Wine Guy - Greg Walter


From off the island: Novy Family Wines

Every once in a while I venture off this island we call the town of Sonoma and tell you about wines and wine people from outside the area. This is one of those times. Let’s face it, no matter what you do or who you are, it’s good to get away from your routine and shake things up a bit!

Usually when I write about Adam Lee’s wines, that writing is about the Pinot Noir he makes under his Siduri label. I’ve enjoyed tasting and drinking his wide range of Pinot bottlings sourced from vineyards from the Willamette Valley in Oregon to Santa Rita Hills in the south for nearly two decades. It goes without saying (even though I am saying it) that I heartily recommend the Siduri wines.

Today, however, I wanted to introduce you to another of Adam’s wine ventures: Novy Family Wines.

Novy Family Wines is truly a family affair – a collaboration between Adam, his wife Dianna Lee, and members of Dianna’s family, the Novys, of Ennis, Texas: her parents Adolph and Rose Marie Novy and brothers and sisters-in-law, David and Angela Novy, Bryan and Kathy Novy and Steven and Marie Novy.

If you asked most people whether they would choose to have their siblings, in-laws and parents as partners in a wine business, there might be at least a pause or hesitation. When I asked myself that question, I had a vision of another Texas family and venue: the Ewings and Southfork Ranch.

Well, if the final product at Novy is any indicator of family harmony things are fine in Ennis, Texas.

Adam and Dianna make the Novy wines (as well as their Siduri label) in Santa Rosa and spend a great deal of their time during the year visiting the many vineyards from which they source fruit.

The two things I really love about the Novy wines are that they are consistently and beautifully made each vintage, and they are exceptional values: the wines are priced between and $14 and $24, suggested retail.

Recently, I tasted through several wines in the Novy line. Here are my notes:

Four Mile Creek North Coast White Wine 2012 ($14): Bright, spicy, floral aromas with pear and apple flavors and a crisp finish. Really delicious!

Four Mile Creek North Coast Red Wine 2011 ($14): Deep, rich, ripe aromas of berries and pepper; rich, ripe, soft berry flavors with pepper and spice notes; silky texture and finish.

Novy Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012 ($19): Rich, bright aromas with some pear and vanilla notes; vibrant pear and citrus flavors expand in the mouth with really nice spice and vanilla notes.

Novy Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2012 ($19): Bright, forward aromas and flavors of fig and citrus and a lush mouthfeel make this a delicious wine to sip on its own.

Novy Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Skin Soaked 2012 ($24): This SauvBlanc definitely gained from some extended skin contact; complex, interesting fig and citrus aromas with a richness on the palate and nice structure. Really liked this wine.

Novy Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands 2011 ($24): Very deep, complex and dense – with a little air, the pepper and berry aromas really surface. On the palate, rich, deep berry and cherry flavors blend well with pepper and licorice notes. Terrific Syrah (and I don’t get to say that very often!).

Novy Family Wines (and Siduri Wines) is located in Santa Rosa just west of Highway 101. The winery is in a warehouse district and is open daily by appointment from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for tours and tasting. For more information, visit www.novyfamilywines.com or call 707-578-3882.

I highly recommend a trip off the island to check them out.

As always, you can email me with questions at gswalter@pinotreport.com.

Greg Walter, a Sonoma resident for more than 20 years, has been in wine and food publishing for more than 30 years, 15 of which were spent as a senior editor and later president of Wine Spectator magazine. Today he writes the PinotReport newsletter (Pinotreport.com) and publishes books through his Carneros Press imprint (Carnerospress.com).

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