2004 Williams Selyem "Flax Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1051548 96 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editor's Choice* This is really a fabulous Pinot Noir that is absolutely Grand Cru. It’s balanced, but what’s hard to describe is how the wine can be silky and airy, yet dense and complex. The fruit is amazingly ripe, a detonation of cherries, cola, raspberries, pomegranates and coffee, with new oaky layers of caramel, toast and vanilla, but it all comes together in a seamless, elegant, complex experience that’s a joy to savor.  (3/2007)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 *Outstanding* A very subtle hint of menthol highlights the beautiful red and blue fruit mix nuanced by background hints of spice that continue onto the rich, full, intense and deep flavors underpinned by excellent concentration and outstanding depth of material. This is a serious wine and along with the Hirsch is the standout among the WS '04s. In sum, a most impressive effort.  (10/2007)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, saturated ruby-red. Aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, plum and minerals. Dense and concentrated, with excellent inner-mouth spice character and energy. In a distinctly masculine, black-fruit style for a wine from this producer, and not at all overly sweet. In fact, this is classically dry, broad and very young. In the style of the 2003. 91+ (ST)  (5/2006)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard shows riper raspberries, more depth than some of the other cuvees, and an enticing nose of dried herbs, sweet fruit, and flowers. This pretty wine is medium-bodied but beautifully rendered and elegant. This one should age nicely. (RP)  (12/2006)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Well-focused, tight and compact, with a rich mix of earthy currant, black cherry and wild berry fruit that's clean and refreshing, with a long, lingering aftertaste. (JL)  (2/2007)

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.