Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
When poured, the classic Allen nose of perfume emanates from the glass. Notes of mountain strawberry and black cherry mix with delicate aromas of dried herbs and savory elements. Hints of sandalwood further add complexity to this benchmark Pinot Noir. Flavors of strawberry and cherry stain the palate, while the refined structure, for which Allen is well-known, gently flows through the palate. Hints of Earl Grey tea combine with a gravelly texture on the sublime finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard offers great layering of fruit, spice and earth on the nose, with scents of blueberry, cranberry, red apple skin, citrus peel, dried herbs and moss plus notes of stone and spices. It's medium-bodied, silky and rounded in the mouth with a firm frame of chalky tannins and juicy freshness to lift the layered finish. 212 cases were made.
Balance, tempered richness and a very pure fruity voice set this one on the path to varietal success, and, if arguably a little straightforward and shy on complexity just now, it possesses a sense of substance, the structure and very keen focus that, in toto, spark unequivocal optimism about where it will go given the several years of cellar time that it so clearly deserves. It may not be tough or in any way ungainly, but it is a very young wine that needs time to evolve beyond simple fruitiness and fully bloom.
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.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.