Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard has a beautiful bouquet of Bing cherry and cranberry fruit intermixed with subtle violets, damp forest floor, and candied orange peel. Classically styled, with medium-bodied depth and richness, it has a tight, vibrant texture, bright acidity, and present, ripe tannins. This is classic, age-worthy Russian River Pinot Noir that's going to be better in a year or three and keep for over a decade. Rating: 94+
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard has a bright, open nose of Bing cherry, prosciutto, dried leaves, tricolored peppercorn, mushroom and blackberry with red berry sparks and rose petal perfume. Light to medium-bodied, it's open for business in the mouth, giving up a great interplay of earth and bright fruits. It's got a firm frame of chalky tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and spicy. This is wonderful! With its more serious character and frame, this will require another couple of years in bottle at least. 290 cases produced.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”