2008 Williams Selyem "Litton Estate Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
*Cellar Selection* This is the best of the winery's new releases, both for drinking now and for cellaring. Combines power and elegance, with upscale flavors of cherries, currants, cola, rhubarbs, dried herbs and oak, wrapped into devastatingly rich tannins and a perfect touch of acidity. Should age well for 10 years.
A bit darker in color than its mates and seemingly more fully extracted in its dark cherry, dried blossoms and slightly toasty oak components, this complex, driven wine is far and away more structured than its mates as well. It is at once bold and closed-in at the same time, and it finds intimations of chocolate and dried brush at the margins. More than any of the other Williams Selyem bevy of beauties, this one wants at least half a decade of quiet to show it best.
Wine & Spirits
The Litton Estate Vineyard is now called the Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard in deference to Ridge's Lytton Springs in Dry Creek Valley. It surrounds Williams Selyem's new winery on Westside Road, where John Dyson and Bob Cabral planted pinot noir in 2002, a mix of heritage selections (including Pommard, Swan and Mt. Eden) with Dijon clones. The 2008 is pure black and red cherry flavor, presenting some of the cleanest, clearest fruit character we found in the vintage (there's nothing smoky about it). Bright and refreshing, the wine is smooth and round in the middle, firm in the end. It should age with grace.
Allen Meadows - Burghound
A ripe and very appealing dark berry fruit and plum suffused nose offers excellent complexity and this depth continues onto the rich, suave and solidly well concentrated medium-bodied flavors that possess good length though there are noticeable hints of tang and bitterness. My score offers the benefit of the doubt that these will age out or at a minimum dissipate as the underlying material is certainly present for this to occur.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A new offering that should not be confused with the Ridge Lytton Estate, the 2008 Pinot Noir Litton Estate Vineyard displays rhubarb, rose petals, sassafras and cherries, all adding complexity to this medium-bodied, slightly austere style of Pinot. It should drink nicely for another 5-7 years. (RP)
Intense, delicate and spicy, this is medium-bodied, with red and black cherry flavors and medium-weight floral scents that are clean and focused on the finish. Drink now through 2017. (JL)