2001 Williams Selyem "Flax" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1033180 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 The Real McCoy of the Middle Reach, a fabulous wine. The aroma is a joy, with intricate fruit, herb, meat, spice, coffee and oak scents mingled in harmony. Turns lush and soft in the mouth, very fat, amazingly complex, with near-perfect acidity and tannins. Bone dry, and intricately layered, it's a taste treat through the fantastically long finish. Drink now through 2010.  (5/2004)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (the first time this fruit has been bottled on its own; 14.3% alcohol) Good full ruby-red. Deeply spicy aromas of plum, currant, blackberry, cola and oak. Silky-sweet and thick, with enticing depth of flavor. A fleshy, large-scaled, thoroughly ripe wine that boasts superb texture considering the tender age of the vines, which were planted in 1997. "Like a meatier version of the Allen Vineyard, which is next-door," notes Cabral. With its lovely sweetness and richness, this is already sexy pinot. (ST)  (5/2003)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 There are 317 cases of the deep ruby/purple-colored 2001 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard, planted with 100% Pommard clone next to Rochioli’s well-known Allen Vineyard. The bouquet shows classic cherry, raspberry, and root beer notes along with full-bodied, concentrated flavors with surprising elegance and a personality not dissimilar from a premier cru from the Cote de Beaune. It should drink well for 5-6 years. All things considered, 2001 and 2002 are the finest back-to-back vintages I have tasted from Williams-Selyem.  (12/2003)

Wine Spectator

 High-toned, with a juicy, showy display of dill, sweet plum and black cherry fruit, offering intensity and concentration, with a long, layered finish. (Web-2004)

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Price: $49.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.