2002 Williams Selyem "Coastlands Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1033185 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Scads of succulent cherries rush to the fore of this opulent effort's dense and yet accessible aromas, and the wine's deep, immensely fruity flavors show the same wonderful combination of richness and immediacy. Rounded, fleshy and very velvety in feel as only frontline Pinot Noir can be, this one is sweetened with a generous dollop of deftly fit oak and smacks of cream and caramel from beginning to end. Its fine sense of balance may guarantee keeping, but it is simply delicious now and requires little further age.  (2/2005)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 This pinot offers the rich intensity of extreme ripeness. But grown on a ridge in Occidental, facing the sea, that full blast of flavor is tempered by an edge of dark spice. The texture is smooth as a raspberry ganache, the wine's chocolate depths seeming to relate more to the tannin of the grapes than oak. The finish contrasts that richness with freshness, a tension that will develop into complexity with age.  (2/2005)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sweet herb and forest floor scents jump from the glass of the dark plum/ruby-tinged 2002 Pinot Noir Coastline Vineyard. Broodingly backward, rich, dense, and promising, its masculine, tannic, stacked and packed personality suggests 2-3 years of bottle age will be beneficial. It should last for 12-15 years. (RP)  (2/2005)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good medium ruby. Wild aromas of berry syrup and coffee. Superripe, sweet and large-scaled, with explosive flavors of wild blackberry, white pepper and spices. Very young, strong pinot, finishing with building tannins. (ST)  (6/2004)

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Price: $69.99
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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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).