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Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WW94
  • WE94
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Notes of raspberry, dried rose petals, and black tea immediately jump fromthe glass. Potpourri notes combine with dried orange peel to add to thewonderful complexity on the nose, while wood spices and anise round outthe aromatics. Flavors of black cherry and smoky herbs come through onthe palate with a strong sensation of black tea and citrus peel. This 2017offering showcases the vintage with a medium-bodied texture and arefined tannin structure, owing to the warm growing season. The grapeswere able to achieve full maturity and maintain fresh fruit aromas andflavors with enough acid to frame the palate. This wine would pair wellwith a cedar plank king salmon with a miso glaze.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Sonoma County's Russian River Valley has often produced some of California's very best Pinot Noirs. The 2017 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is rock-solid good. TASTING NOTES: This wine delivers on all fronts. Its aromas and flavors of ripe red fruits, oak accents, and sweet spices should pair it famously with Rosemary, garlic, and crushed black pepper-accented lamb chops. (Tasted: January 28, 2019, San Francisco, CA)
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
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.
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Williams Selyem

Williams Selyem Winery

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Williams Selyem Winery , 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.
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Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

WBO30211993_2017 Item# 519645