2002 Williams Selyem "Allen Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
*Three stars* A brilliant wine of exceptional range and complexity, the Allen Vineyard bottling starts with a fascinating suggestion of dark soil just slightly beneath its outgoing themes of vanilla, root-beer, bacon and pure, cherry-like fruit. Ripe and very well-measured in all of its parts, it is full and wonderfully rounded in feel, and its deep and involving flavors of minerals, cherries and spice hold on and on at the finish. As with several of its cellarmates, it will take real self control not to drink it up in the very near term, but it has the beauty depth and balance to improve for four or five years.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The terrific deep ruby/purple-tinged 2002 Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard offers a smorgasbord of aromas and flavors, including crushed minerals, black raspberries, forest floor, and strawberry jam. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full ruby-red. Highly aromatic nose combines black fruits, minerals, pepper, Asian spices, flowers and sexy oak. Dense, intensely flavored and rather powerful, but with the seamless texture of the best examples from this superb vineyard. Very ripe and concentrated but still quite young. Black fruit flavors are nicely framed by espresso and sweet oak notes on the lingering finish. 93+ (ST)
Wonderful perfumed aromas of ripe Pinot, rose petals, black cherry and plum, this wine makes a statement about how polished and elegant Russian River Pinots can be, with its soothing, caressing texture. The finish brings the core Pinot flavors to the forefront, with a long, luxurious aftertaste. (JL)
Allen Meadows - Burghound
*Outstanding* Perhaps it's just the name but I have always admired what W&S has accomplished with the fruit of this vineyard over the years. A stunning nose of striking complexity soars from the glass to reveal high-toned and wonderfully complex spicy red pinot fruit nuanced by earth and game hints followed by gorgeously seductive and textured medium full flavors underpinned by a firm spine of ripe tannins and excellent length. This is a showy effort but not one given to excess as it's balanced from start to finish and while there is a bit of toast in evidence, this should be absorbed over the 5 to 7 years this will need to be at its best.
Wine & Spirits
The Allen vineyard, adjacent to and farmed by the Rochiolis on the western bank of the Russian River, grew this gentle, fragrant pinot noir. Its velvet texture carries tart raspberry and strawberry flavor, a fruit-driven wine with oak providing an understated chocolate richness to the structure. Serve it now with salmon in a red wine reduction, or let it develop in the cellar.