Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
Pinot Noir from Russian River, California
Cherry and strawberry jam permeates on the nose along with secondary aromas of violets, clove and cherry-cola. This is a weightier wine than in the past (vines were planted in 1970), with vibrant acidity and soft, rich tannins. Flavors of ripe strawberries, cherry pie, citrus blossom and spice are complimented by the toasty vanilla/crème brûlée-like texture.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Black raspberry, cherry-cola and fresh flowers on the highly perfumed nose. Fleshy, nicely concentrated red fruit preserve flavors are braced by gentle acidity and complicated by a candied floral quality. Becomes weightier in the glass while maintaining its vibrancy, finishing sweet and long, with persistent florality. Very sexy already but this pinot is balanced to reward at least mid-term aging."
Wine & Spirits - "The Allen Vineyard is one of the older pinot noir plantings in Sonoma County; most of the vines for this bottling date back to 1970, when Howard and Ann Allen first established ttheir vineyard on a slope above the Russian River. Vine age and thinner hillside soils both contribute to the wine's notably firm structure. This feels polished and energetic, its richness held in tension against ample natural acidity given by a coll year, the flavors suggesting dark cherries and bay leaf in their deep, savory length. It feels balanced to age. "
Williams Selyem Winery
Williams Selyem Winery began as a simple dream of two friends, Ed Selyem and Burt Williams, who pursued weekend winemaking as a hobby in 1979 in a garage in Forestville, California, and made their first commercial vintage in 1981. In less than two decades, Burt and Ed created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Together they set a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking in the United States, aligning Sonoma County's Russian River Valley in the firmament of the best winegrowing regions of the world. Today John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, carry on the passion for Pinot Noir winemaking without compromise. As for the wines... they just keep getting better and better. View all Williams Selyem Winery Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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