2008 Williams Selyem "Rochioli Riverblock" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
*Editors' Choice* Accomplishes the impossible, stunning the palate with the most delicious flavors imaginable, yet with the structural integrity to age. Those flavors intoxicate with cherry pie, black raspberry tart, tangerine zest and mocha, finished with exotic spicebox and sweet, charred new oak smokiness, all enveloped in sheer silkiness and ultrarefined tannins. Drink now–2018.
*Two stars* Ripe and rich, concentrated and mannerly at one and the same time, this attractive wine splits the difference between the direct, deep reach of the Litton Estate bottling and the greater elegance of the Allen Vineyard version. It is a touch rounded to start, then firms up across the palate and tightens in the finish. It will benefit from a few years in the cellar and is sure to find a rich, supple stance over time.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid red. Explosive aromas of strawberry and raspberry preserves, potpourri, mocha and cola. Silky, bright and expansive, with lovely life and mineral lift giving a weightless quality to its sweet red fruit and floral pastille flavors. Really expands to saturate the palate, finishing with sweet tannins, slow-building spiciness and outstanding length. (ST)
The 2008 Pinot Noir Rochioli River Block emerges from an iconic vineyard in the Russian River. Dark ruby, with notes of gun flint, raspberry, black cherry and spice, the wine has good acidity, slightly more sweet and sour cherry fruit than several of the other wines, and medium body. It is an interesting contrast to the style produced by the owners of this vineyard, Tom Rochioli and his father. This is very good Pinot Noir that plays it close to the vest but shows overall good balance.