Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
The nose soars with notes of raspberry jam and strawberry confiture, and is interlaced with Chinese five spice. The leather note typical of Bucher takes a step back in the amazingly complex array of aromas. With air, notes of bitter cherry emerge. In the mouth, the texture is supple and round with flavors of cherry, sassafras, and cinnamon stick. The acid profile is sneaky and seamlessly works with the tannins to a give a finish of bergamot tea. In short, a sensational offering from the Bucher Vineyard.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Due to an unfortunate mechanical failure at the winery, this cuvée was not made in 2016. The 2017 Pinot Noir Bucher Vineyard has a pale to medium ruby-purple color and savory nose of prosciutto, cracked pepper, dusty earth, old leather, woodsmoke, ash and dried autumn leaves with black tea leaves, orange peel and black and red cherries and berries at the core. The light to medium-bodied palate is savory, intense and nuanced, framed softly by chalky tannins and finishing very long with great freshness. 504 cases produced.
Starting out with concentrated, slightly savory, dark fruit aromas and very much following suit in the mouth where touches of clean earth sit to the side of its wellstated themes of black cherries and berries, this slightly fleshy, moderately full-bodied working presently counts on richness more than nuance, and, at least for the moment, inclines to juicy simplicity. Despite being fairly approachable right now, it is balanced to keep and, with a few years of cellar time, may well develop more layering and complexity
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.