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Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2005

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S93
  • WE93
  • RP93
14.3% ABV
  • RP93
  • CG96
  • RP91
  • WE95
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  • WE99
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Try the 1999 Vintage 109 97
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very ripe aromas of raspberry, boysenberry, roses, sassafras and espresso fill your nose. Rich, ripe tannins roll across the palate with flavors of wild berry, dark chocolate, sage, black truffles and toasty oak. The finish on this wine is long and sexy.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
David Hirsch grows some of the most compelling pinot noir on the far Sonoma coast, some of which he sells to Williams Selyem-a selection of three blocks, planted to three classic California clones: Mt. Eden, Pommard and Swan. This 2005 has a beautiful red fruit aroma, somewhere between raspberry and cranberry. It has the tautness of pinot grown three miles from the ocean and the richness of grapes grown above the fog. Still nascent, this feels sleek and built to last.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
s usual with a Hirsch Pinot, the wine is young and thick and jammy, even a little heavy, and needs time to develop. The wild raspberry, sour cherry, cola and Asian spices have a touch of smoky new oak, while the tannins and acids are noticeable, providing a dry architecture for the ripe fruit. Should develop over the next decade, as everything comes together into balance.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I loved the 2005 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard for its sweet red apple skin, pomegranate, cherry, raspberry, earthy, forest floor, and juicy meat-like perfume. This full-bodied, tannic Pinot requires additional bottle age, but it should prove to be uncommonly long-lived, easily lasting 12-15 years.
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Williams Selyem

Williams Selyem Winery

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Williams Selyem Winery , Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

KTY145055_2005 Item# 145055