2007 Williams Selyem "Hirsch Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1078653 97 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* A brilliant wine. Racy in acidity, silky in texture, yet powerful, it exudes the essence of Pinot Noir’s greatness. Shows great fruity ripeness in the cherry, Dr. Pepper cola, licorice and bacon flavors, and also a wild, forest quality of grilled mushrooms, thyme and fennel. Absolutely dry, with a firm spine of tannins, the structure is near perfect. A divine expression of Hirsch, and a good candidate for six years in the cellar.  (2/2010)

95 points Wine & Spirits

 Williams Selyem has purchased grapes from David Hirsch since 1994, with a short break in 2002 and '03; it was a strong relationship Bob Cabral inherited when he came onboard as winemaker in 1998. This wine comes from three blocks at the Hirsch Vineyard near Fort Ross, one planted to Mt. Eden, one to Pommard and one to Swan, all California heritage selections of Pinot Noir. As such, the wine falls into the delicate, graceful, harmonious mode rather than the dark, brooding intensity that some modern selections deliver. The tannin itself offers earthy sparks of brightness, its mineral length sweetened by the wild strawberry flavor of the fruit. It's mouthwatering coastal refreshment, a beautiful, sunny Pinot for any fresh catch from the Pacific.  (4/2010)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 **Two Stars** Built along firmer lines, this cherry and raspberry-scented offering is well-defined if somewhat tight and reluctant with its aromas. It focus, however, never wavers, and it keeps on coming from first to last, even in the face of squeezing acidity in the latter palate that creates a last-minute tug on its flavors. Still, this is a wine that has both varietal character and seeming depth on its side, and, whereas its mates above could grow with some cellaring, this one flat out demands it.  (2/2010)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep, vivid red. Dark cherry and dried rose on the nose, with smoke and sassafras notes gaining power in the glass. Chewy and youthfully backward right now, slowly unfurling to offer bitter cherry and dark berry skin flavors. Strong, vaguely medicinal dark fruit qualities dominate the long, peppery finish. Give this lots of air if you're tempted to open one anytime soon. (ST)  (6/2009)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Made in a more masculine, peppery, earthy, Pommard-like style, the medium to full-bodied, rich, substantial (for a Williams-Selyem Pinot) 2007 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard reveals good acidity as well as ripe tannin. It should be very long-lived, possibly 10-15 years. 92+ (RP)  (2/2010)

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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:

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).