Williams Selyem Coastlands Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard opens with notions of tar, loamy earth, wet bark and moss, slowly blossoming to dried blueberries, black cherries, oolong tea, dried violet and meaty/peppery hints. It's light to medium-bodied and earthy with pleasant woodsmoke and tobacco character, seamlessly woven tannic grain and freshness, finishing long. A very unique expression of the Coastlands vineyard this vintage. 238 cases were made.
Ross Cobb grows this wine for Williams Selyem at his vineyard in Occidental, and you can taste the marginality of the climate in the pink-peppercorn spice and stemmy green savor of the tannins. It’s lively and long, a powerful wine crowded with youthful dark-fruit flavor and spice, delivering all its energy with coolness. Compressed and impressive, this is a wine to cellar.
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.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is large in area but, not counting overlapping regions like Russian River Valley, only has a few thousand acres of grapevines—and it’s no wonder. Much of the region is rugged and not easily accessible. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean’s fog and cool breezes limits the varieties that can be cultivated, but it proves to be an ideal environment for high quality Pinot Noir.
Since fog is a frequent fact of life here, as are heavy marine layers that sometimes bring rain, the best vineyards are wisely planted above the fog line, on picturesque ridges that capture enough sun to provide even ripening. That, with the overnight drop in temperature that reliably preserves acidity, results in fine expressions of Pinot Noir that often receive tremendous critic and consumer praise alike, and are often in high demand.