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Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Chardonnay 2010

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • TP90
14.6% ABV
  • WE95
  • RP94
  • WS90
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • WE95
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • W&S92
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Pears and cinnamon direct the aromas of this wine. Flavors of ripe apples, almonds and a hint of vanilla are broad across the palate. In the mouth there is a richness that is balanced by the citrus finish. Citrus blossom and heady aromas of Asian pear, peach, lilac, and nectarine intermingle with quince and mineral notes. Subtle toasty oak gives way to rich flavors of ripe pears, brioche, peaches and cream, and nutmeg spice, followed by a long mineral finish. Very nicely-focused and delineated in the mid palate. Drink now or for years to come. A great example of a concentrated and zesty Russian River Valley Chardonnay, grown in a very cool year, with grapes grown by Joe Rochioli from one of the iconic vineyards in the area.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 90
Tasting Panel
Amid Williams Seylem's iconic Pinots, don't overlook their Chards; smooth, dense and ripe with creamy texture and sweet oak; focused and long with lovely intensity.
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Williams Selyem

Williams Selyem Winery

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Williams Selyem Winery , Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

RINALLENCRD_2010 Item# 120691