2009 Williams-Selyem "Allen Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1130145 97 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* A drop-dead gorgeous Pinot Noir that will satisfy everyone from Burgundy fans to diehard Cabernet cultists. Show an elegant complexity and silky texture that define great California Pinot Noir, yet with a powerful impact that emphasizes raspberries, cherries and blueberries. Brilliant acidity and tannins provide the perfect framework on this wine that’s drinkable now, and will develop over the next 15–20 years.  (2/2012)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Explosive perfume of wild strawberry, raspberry, incense and Asian spices, along with a sexy floral undertone. Deeply pitched but very fresh red berry flavors are lithe and precise, with a rose pastille quality gaining strength with air. At once powerful and graceful, finishing with excellent lift and persistence. Outstanding clarity here. (ST)  (6/2011)

94 points James Suckling

 Dried fruit such as strawberries and black cherries with hints of flowers and meat. Full body, with juicy tannins and a foie gras, meat, berry and spice character. Rich and intense. A vibrant acidity really gives it energy. Drink now or hold.  (6/2012)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* Marked by subtle accents of cream and cola with an intimation of flowers in its deep and lively young nose, the Allen Vineyard version is a silky smooth Pinot once in the mouth whose fruity richness comes with a slightly lighter touch. It displays a long and insistent sense of the pure fruit that is part and parcel of the appellation's best efforts, and, while it is seductive right now, it is a finely balanced bottling whose acidy spark assures a few years of growth.  (2/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Marked by complex spicy, loamy earth, dried lavender and dried berry notes, this Pinot is full-bodied and tight, gaining richness and depth on the finish, where the flavors show a plummy minerality. Drink now through 2020. 286 cases made. (JL)  (4/2012)

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Price: $129.99
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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.

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.


- 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.