2011 Williams Selyem "Foss Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1140921 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, smoke- and spice-accented aromas and flavors of black raspberry and cherry cola show impressive clarity. Vibrant and precise, with excellent back-end lift and cut. Repeats the berry and cola notes on a long, seamless penetrating finish. (ST)  (5/2013)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Although a modest 13.9% alcohol, this fairly fleshy, relatively full-bodied offering shows a decent sense of extract and ready ripeness. It veers just a bit from the expected cherry-like themes of Russian River Pinot and smacks of berries and black plums, and its tendency to fleshy fullness on the palate is countered by a fair measure of cranberry-like acidity. As is the case with most of its mates, it is more than enjoyable right now, but its many pieces should knit more seamlessly once a few years have passed.  (2/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Among the four Russian River offerings, the 2011 Pinot Noir Foss Vineyard exhibits a dense ruby color as well as plenty of sweet cherry and apple butter-like characteristics, a medium-bodied mouthfeel, decent acidity and a moderately long finish. Drink this attractive Pinot over the next 5-8 years. (RP)  (12/2013)


 Dark cherry, plum, savory herbs, licorice and menthol all flesh out in the 2011 Pinot Noir Foss Vineyard. A dark, supple Pinot, the Foss should continue to drink nicely for the next handful of years. (AG)  (2/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Offers a complex mix of loamy earth, crushed rock and dried berry and plum flavors, with touches of cigar box and cedar, ending with drying tannins. Drink now through 2019. (JL, Web-2014)

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Price: $74.99

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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 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.

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