2005 Williams Selyem "Westside Road Neighbors" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1033227 93 points Vinous

 Dark red. Explosive strawberry and raspberry liqueur scents are accented by exotic spice and cola notes on the vibrant nose. Enticing sweet red berry flavors are lifted by fresh acidity and firmed by dusty tannins. The finish of suave, focused red fruits shows excellent persistence and purity. Platonic Russian River pinot that's irresistible right now. (ST)  (5/2007)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 I love the delicate complexity of this Pinot, which is a blend of five vineyards along this famous wine trail. If you want to understand RRV Pinot, and particularly from the stretch they call the Middle Reach, study this wine. Dry, crisp and silky, it shows beautifully ripened cherry, raspberry, cola, pomegranate and spicy-herbal flavors, perfectly integrated with smoky oak, and the brilliant acid-tannin balance of a great vintage.  (8/2007)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 A perennial favorite here at CGCW, the Westside Road Neighbors bottling comes through once again. Its lovely aromas of sweet oak and perfectly ripened cherries are paralleled in all ways by its deeply filled and carefully composed flavors. Youthful acids presently bring a slight edge of stiffness to the finish, but given the two or three years of age that it so clearly deserves, this one will ultimately be as refined and well-polished as it is rich. *Two Stars*  (6/2007)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 It was difficult to penetrate and evaluate. I love the sexy, sensual character of the 2005 Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors. There are just under 1,000 cases of this glorious Pinot, which comes across like a premier cru from the Cote de Beaune. Dark plum/ruby-tinged with sweet kirsch, pomegranate, raspberry, and dusty, loamy soil scents, this medium to full-bodied, elegant, pure wine is totally captivating. It is everything a top-notch Pinot Noir should be. (RP)  (12/2007)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Floral, lavender and rose petal scents are richer on the palate, with plum and black cherry flavors. Tight and compact, this provides a glimpse of what lies ahead on the finish, where the fruit joins the mineral and fresh earth scents. (JL)  (5/2007)

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Price: $55.99
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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:

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.