Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2017 Zinfandel Bacigalupi Vineyard is packed with perfume, giving up warm peach cobbler, mixed berry preserves, blueberries, cranberry sauce, red and black cherries and loads of exotic spices and floral nuances. The medium-bodied palate explodes with spiced fruit layers, refreshed by juicy acidity and softly framed, finishing very long. This is incredibly powerful flavor-wise, but it isn't heavy or over-the-top structurally. 332 cases produced.
The Bacigalupi family grows mainly pinot noir on their ranch, some of which they sell to Williams Selyem, but the property already had two acres of zinfandel when they purchased it in 1950. Those vines, now more than 90 years old, provided a classical Russian River zin in 2017, dark and decadent, with flavors of chocolate, roasted cherry and peach. The texture is velvety, with the suppleness of candle wax, the wine’s plush fruit held together by a thread of freshness.
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.
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.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured its title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the state's diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, and it later made its way to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.