2011 Williams Selyem "Hirsch Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1140934 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 One sip is all it takes to be blown away by this Pinot’s beauty. It’s exquisitely crafted, a testament to both the vineyard and the winery’s oenological talent. The palate is bright and tangy with acidity, and incredibly complex flavors of wild berries, mushrooms, balsam, cola and Asian spices. It’s dramatic now, but will continue to improve for at least 15 years.  (2/2014)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 The Hirsch Vineyard versions are more often than not among the tighter, more vibrant Pinots in the Williams Selyem portfolio, and it is true once again with this firmly built, eminently ageworthy opus from 2011. It is withal a fairly hidden wine with as much tactile grip as outgoing fruit, but there is a very real sense of layering at work as well and hints at black tea at one moment and cherries and spice at the next. Its acidity is ample and obvious without being aggressive, and it will take its time before coming fully around.  (2/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Deep, smoke-accented aromas of blackberry, cherry-cola and licorice, with a peppery topnote. Juicy, palate-staining dark fruit flavors are enlivened by a floral quality and show a smooth, velvety texture. The wine becomes chewier on the clinging finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a hint of candied violet. (ST)  (5/2013)

92 points Vinous

 Sweet red cherries, plums, mint and rose petals meld together in the 2011 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard. A wine of texture and depth, the 2011 stands out for its fabulous silkiness and raciness, both very hard to come by in 2011. The flavors continue to blossom in this striking, drop-dead gorgeous Pinot from one of Sonoma's very best sites. This is a fabulous showing in a very challenging year. (AG)  (2/2014)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Williams Selyem’s 2011 Hirsch is a strapping wine, bursting with dark blue and purple fruit tones and showing a lot of cocoa-scented oak. It’s somewhat primary right now, but there’s a lively earthiness to the tannins that predicts complexity. With air, the wine’s full power and length begin to show, suggesting that this deserves some time in the cellar.  (4/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From the Sonoma Coast, the 2011 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard offers classic Pommard-like notes of red apple skins, earth and black cherries. There is always a masculinity to this cuvee, and the 2011 is earthy, firm, tannic, rustic and beefy in a good sense. This medium-bodied Pinot will benefit from 1-2 years of cellaring, and should keep for a decade. (RP)  (12/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Tight and dense, with pure and focused ripe plum and raspberry fruit, picking up anise and black licorice notes on the finish. Ends with a savory aftertaste. Drink now through 2023. (Web-2014)

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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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).