Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard South Knoll Zinfandel 2009
Zinfandel from Russian River, California
The last time I bottled these blocks separately was in 2001 - for similar reasons. The sandier soils of this block (compared to the North Flats) show the classic old vine zin characteristics we have all come to expect. The nose exhibits concentrated blackberries and wild raspberry jam with spice and toffee. In your mouth the rich and full tannins are only masked by the power of the berry fruits and balanced acidity that keeps those flavors lingering on and on in the finish. Concentrated and complex, this wine will drink very well now and mature nicely well into the future.
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a terrific Zinfandel, offering berry, cherry, mocha, spice and cedar flavors that come wrapped in briary tannins. It's technically dry, but with a satisfying honeyed note."
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining purple. Wild, gamey and exotic on the nose, offering ripe boysenberry, cassis and fruitcake scents along with an exotic jolt of cocoa powder and anise. Round, expansive black and blue fruit flavors gain sweetness with air, slowly revealing a sweet black raspberry preserve quality. Very persistent, deeply flavored zinfandel with impressive volume and finishing intensity."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Zinfandel South Knoll Forchini Vineyard is higher toned and more aromatic then the North Flats bottling from Forchini. Crushed flowers, rose petals, spices, sweet herbs and red berries round out the finish, but it is the energy and cut that elevate the South Knoll. The truth, though, is that a hypothetical 50/50 blend of both Forchini Zinfandels is better than the two wines when tasted apart. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021. "
Wine & Spirits - "Grown on centenarian vines at a vineyard just south of Healdsburg, this is saturated with berry flavor and powerful scents of red fruit. The finish lasts on black raspberries, raspberry seeds, prunes and game. Decant it for boar ragu."
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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.