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Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE95
  • W&S94
14.1% ABV
  • RP93
  • CG96
  • RP91
  • WE95
  • WE95
  • TP94
  • W&S91
  • WE99
  • WS92
  • WE97
  • WE93
  • W&S93
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • RP90
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Classic Hirsch with aromas of wild blackberries, cassis, cola and truffles bursting out of my glass. The concentrated flavors of wild berries, spice, cardamom and coffee expand throughout the palate. Round brooding tannins coat the palate nicely with a juicy acidity in the finish. The darker fruits and mature tannins from the Pommard block really make this a much more complete wine showing true site specificity.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Soft and ripe enough to drink now, after a decent decanting, it shows pure raspberry, blueberry and cherry fruit flavors, subtlely accented with cola and baking spices, and all of it wrapped into thick but smooth tannins. Good as it is, it will gain traction over the next 15 years.
Cellar Selection
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
A selection of three blocks from David Hirsch's far-coast vineyard near Fort Ross, this is made up of three heritage clones: Mt. Eden (block 4B), Pommard (5E) and Swan (6F). Give this time in a decanter and the delicate weave of flavor opens into a peacock's tail of colors and intricate patterns, the vanillin of the oak, the black olive tones of the tannins, the high-toned strawberry and orange-scented fruit all secondary to the refinement of the presentation and the energy that drives it. A joyous young vintage, this will age for a decade or more.
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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 from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

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.

DOB111825_2009 Item# 111825