2009 Williams-Selyem "Olivet Lane" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1129707 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Explosively perfumed and pure on the nose, showing mineral-laced red berry and cherry qualities complicated by sexy spices and flowers. Really heady pinot, with exotic red fruit compote and floral pastille flavors and a silky, seamless texture. The spiciness dominates the very long, sappy, incisive finish. This will be a beauty in a few years and should age gracefully. There are only 191 cases of this wine, the first Olivet Lane bottling for Williams-Selyem since the 1997. Cabral said that he was thrilled to be able to work with this fruit again, 'even if there wasn't much, because it's a return to a vineyard that put the winery on the map, which makes this feel like coming full circle.' (ST)  (6/2011)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 **Two Stars** From its pure and precise aromas to its deep, well-composed flavors this handsome young Pinot shows a fine and confident sense of direction to its complex, slightly dusty, dried-flower and ripe-cherry components. Its keen acidity firms without intruding, and it is thus a wonderfully ageworthy wine even if tasty now, and it ranks with the better renditions of Olivet Lane fruit we have tasted.  (2/2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 This fragrant, delicate style exhibits a rich black cherry and blueberry core of flavors that lend a measure of finesse and refinement. Ends with a subtle mineral, loamy earth note. (JL)  (4/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard is one of the more gracious, mid-weight wines in this lineup. It floats across the palate with sweet dark cherries, crushed, flowers, mint, licorice and spices. The Olivet Lane is all about subtlety, and there is plenty of that here. (AG)  (2/2012)

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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 Sp├Ątburgunder 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 Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.