Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
Like any long time friend we all tend to show some age. In this case, this "friend" has developed into a much more complex wine than I ever remember! Perfumed maraschino cherries, strawberry jam, dried spices and cola present a matured sexiness now to this wine. Intense cherry/ wild raspberry flavors end up surrounded by silky tannins and toasty oak. Many of you barrel tasted the 2010 vintage at our Spring Release Pick Up Party and this wine is almost a mirror image—that I believe will age more gracefully.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Explosively perfumed and pure on the nose, showing mineral-laced red berry and cherry qualities complicated by sexy spices and flowers. Really heady pinot, with exotic red fruit compote and floral pastille flavors and a silky, seamless texture. The spiciness dominates the very long, sappy, incisive finish. This will be a beauty in a few years and should age gracefully. There are only 191 cases of this wine, the first Olivet Lane bottling for Williams-Selyem since the 1997. Cabral said that he was thrilled to be able to work with this fruit again, "even if there wasn't much, because it's a return to a vineyard that put the winery on the map, which makes this feel like coming full circle." 95 points"
Wine Spectator - "This fragrant, delicate style exhibits a rich black cherry and blueberry core of flavors that lend a measure of finesse and refinement. Ends with a subtle mineral, loamy earth note. Drink now through 2020. 191 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "Intensely ripe, jammy raspberry and cherry fruit marks this impressive young Pinot Noir. It shows Williams Selyem’s impeccable balance and elegance, but is a little soft and direct, lacking nuance. Could do interesting things in the bottle down the years, but seems best now and through 2014."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard is one of the more gracious, mid-weight wine in this lineup. It floats across the palate with sweet dark cherries, crushed, flowers, mint, licorice and spices. The Olivet Lane is all about subtlety, and there is plenty of that here. "
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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 Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.