Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Notes of dark cherry and raspberry saturate the nose along with a touch of citrus and rosemary. There is a freshness on the nose, a characteristic which is typical of fruit grown on the Estate, while deep bass notes of baking spices add layers and complexity. On the palate, the wine is lithe with fresh acidity and red and black fruit flavors. A profile of minerals and crushed rocks gives length and induces a mouth coating sensation on the palate. The Williams Selyem Estate is a wonderful parallel of power and elegance a classic in the making.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard opens with crushed blueberry and blackberry, black cherry, cinnamon and vanilla touches plus licorice, loamy earth, dried leaves and tobacco/cedar hints. Medium-bodied, rounded and wonderfully silky and concentrated, it offers lovely flavor layers, a youthfully firm frame of tannins and great juicy freshness on the amazingly long, layered and energetic finish. This will reward another few years of cellaring. 663 cases produced.
This is such an impressive appellation-wide blend, combining several vineyard sites into a cohesive whole. Incredibly aromatic in rose and raspberry, the palate brings velvety layers of dark cherry and cinnamon, with integrated acidity keeping the balance.
Finding its accustomed place at the head of the family in 2017, Williams Selyem’s Estate Pinot Noir is a wine of profound depth and varietal articulation that marries a wealth of vigorous, wonderfully precise Pinot fruit with wispy elements of wildflowers and lovely, very discreet, supportive oak. It is full and slightly firm in balance with plenty of buoyancy to its exacting, marvelously sustained flavors, and its combination of richness and fastidious tailoring makes for a first-rate wine that will be as long-lived as it is endlessly fascinating.
In the same thread, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley shows classic Russian River fruit (although not much cola) as well as plenty of spice, underbrush, and floral notes. Giving up plenty of wild strawberry and Bing cherry fruit, medium to full body, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish. it has plenty of upfront charm, yet I suspect capable of lasting for 8-10 years.
Generous raspberry flavors lend this wine flesh while still allowing some transparency to the structure. It’s juicy and rich, with a violet-purple cast to the fruit. Pour it with smoked duck.
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.