2001 Williams Selyem "Allen Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1033197 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Nearly as good as the Flax bottling, opening with a gorgeous aroma of mushroom, tobacco, coffee, Asian spice, cherry, blackberry and oaky vanillins. Like all the current releases, it’s very dry, but rich in sweetly ripe fruit and sweet oak. A little sharp now in acids, which should enable this beauty to age effortlessly through the decade.  (5/2004)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Delicious. Elegant and spicy, delicate style, with vibrant, succulent black cherry and raspberry flavors that are rich, intense and concentrated, turning elegant and supple on a long, lively finish. (JL)  (4/2004)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Initially, this was slightly funky with a decidedly dirty note but with air, things cleaned up to reveal what became positively gorgeous aromas of clean and pure red pinot fruit followed by beautifully detailed, delicious, sweet and very sappy flavors that offer impressive complexity and a linear but supple finish. This is quite Burgundian in style and so well balanced that it should age quite well.  (7/2004)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The powerhouse 2001 Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard (359 cases) reveals copious quantities of raspberry and cherry fruit intertwined with hints of flowers, crushed rocks, wood, and autumnal/leafy notes. It explodes on the palate with great richness, power, and density, which obscure some hefty tannin. This fabulous Pinot should hit its prime in 1-2 years, and last for a decade. (RP)  (12/2003)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good medium red-ruby. Floral aromas of cherry, raspberry, strawberry, spices and rose petal. Intensely flavored, sappy and rich but quite tight today, conveying an impression of uncompromising dryness. Best right now on the very strong finish: the fruit and spice flavors really explode and linger. Cabral describes this as a classic version of Allen: 'The 2000 was almost too big and dark.' I look forward to retasting this very backward wine in the fall. 91+ (ST)  (6/2003)

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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.