Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2019
Red fruited at first nosing; the wine showcases a floral character beloved in Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. There is an earthy, dried herb component mixed with a touch of bergamot which adds to the complexity to the kaleidoscope of aromas. A burst of red fruits mix with flavors of Earl Grey tea on the round but well-balanced palate, and the acidity keeps the wine fresh on the tongue.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A pleasant mix of aromas of ripe red fruit and berries and earthy spice and bark. Medium-to full-bodied with velvety tannins. The harmony between dark fruit and spice continues on the palate, together with additional layers of wet-stone minerality. Very good intensity throughout the long finish. Really well done and refined. Drink after 2024.
Beautifully perfumed in aromas of rose petal and freshly turned earth, this wine is a delicious statement on the power of blending across the appellation. It shows tangy layers of boysenberry, cranberry and black tea against accents of clove, cardamom, herbes de Provence and orange peel.
Medium ruby-purple, the 2019 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley has lush aromas of wild berry preserves, aniseed, forest floor, potpourri and tea leaves. The medium-bodied palate is deeply fruited, wonderfully spiced and seamlessly structured, with a very long, layered finish.
Lots of smoky red and black fruits, peppery herbs, forest floor, and floral notes emerge from the 2019 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, another medium-bodied, ethereal, elegant wine from this estate. It too has some oak to integrate yet has beautiful tannins and a great finish. Give it a year or two as well.
On the slightly fuller and weightier side, yet still exhibiting the pure and pretty fruit for which its appellation is renowned, this is a well-filled youngster of fine breadth and focus. It inclines to firmness but stops well short of being tough, and its tannins are of a velvety sort that never detract from its very continuous, dark cherry fruit. It has the flesh and bones to definitely improve with age, and, though it is not at all hard to access now, its best looks to lie a few years down the line.
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.