Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Youthful and exuberant on the nose, the Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir is a showy wine. Notes of plum and berry mix with vanilla and wood spices. Hints of purple flowers combined with orange rind are offset by elements of chalk and flint. Cedar and herbs complete the wonderfully complex nose. In the mouth, this wine showcases plum and currant flavors with meaty notes in the background. Minerals and earthiness round out the finish in this elegant offering.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Vista Verde has a singular perfume of dried lavender, Earl Grey tea, musk and potpourri with a core of red and black cherries and berries plus nuances of dried herbs, charcuterie, loamy earth and a mineral hint. The palate is light to medium-bodied with concentrated flavor layers wrapped in a classy framing of new oak spice, with grainy tannins and good freshness on the long, perfumed finish.
A reductive, oily oak note at the outset resolves quickly to reveal a bright cherry scent. The flavors are simple but jubilant, a pure red burst of cherry flavor dusted with cinnamon, red toned and bright throughout.
Always a bit heftier and typically showing a little less finesse than its maker’s North Coast efforts, the Vista Verde rendition very much hews to expectations this time around and, while a generously filled, well-focused offering that very confidently delivers the fruity goods, it trades elegance for an extra bit of richness. It is moderately full and agreeably balanced with a streak of evident, but not-too-pushy, back-end tannin that leads us to believe that its best days lie some three to five 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.
Taking advantage of the cool Pacific breezes that arrive via gaps between the Gabilan Range and the Santa Lucia Mountains, San Benito AVA is a great Central coast source for cool climate whites and Pinot noir.
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.”