2003 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1026381 92 points Wine & Spirits

 The broad texture is there when this is first poured, with light, tangy strawberry and red currant flavors feeling lean against the full tannins. Then air fills out the fruit with a generous, dry savor, the wine feeling as cool as the redwood forest floor in the western stretches of the Russian River Valley.  (10/2005)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This Pinot is so addictively delicious. It’s a big wine, in color and even some tannins, with juicy cherry, plum and cola flavors, but somehow manages to maintain elegance and delicacy. What a finish. It goes on for a full minute.  (11/2005)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 **Two Stars** Another outstanding bottling, this one makes a seemingly fuller and plumper statement in its nicely filled aromas and engaging flavors. It is similarly supple with a touch of Pinot's inviting feel on the palate, and its ripe, rich aftertaste holds well despite the presence of some youthful pucker at the end. Useful now, it too can improve with cellaring.  (6/2005)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The well-made 2003 Pinot Noir Russian River is primarily estate fruit (estate vineyards now comprise 34 acres). It is a medium-bodied effort revealing notes of raspberries, cherries, dried herbs, earth, and spice.  (2/2005)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good dark ruby-tinged red. Black raspberry, cola, smoke, spices and loam on the nose, along with a whiff of orange peel. Fat, lush, oaky and full; large-scaled and a bit warm though not hugely sweet. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins.  (6/2005)

Wine Spectator

 Wins points for elegance and finesse, with a supple band of black cherry and wild berry fruit that's shaded by a touch of raspberry.  (7/2005)

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Price: $54.99
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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.