Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2017
Brooding and mysterious, the 2017 vintage is a blockbuster of a wine. Dark fruited at the core, there is a tea and dried herb quality that adds layers to the aromatics. The heavily concentrated palate is a result of the struggle that the plants experience on top of the Sonoma Coast range. Berry flavors transition to elements of Russian Caravan tea and finish with a robust, but refined, tannin structure.
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The 2017 Pinot Noir Precious Mountain Vineyard is pale to medium ruby-purple and youthfully shy, very slowly giving up cinnamon stick, warm blackberries, black and red cherries, pipe tobacco, prosciutto, earth and black tea leaves. It's light to medium-bodied and spicy but somewhat shy in the mouth, with a firm frame of chalky tannins and juicy acidity, finishing very long and spicy. This needs more time in bottle! 291 cases were made.
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.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”