2012 Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir

SKU #1157832 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* This is the best value of the winery’s spring lineup of seven 2012 Pinot Noirs. It’s dry, delicate, modest in alcohol, tart and complex. Waves of raspberries and cherries, mushrooms, red currants, Dr. Pepper cola and exotic spices wash across the palate, delicious and flashy. It’s ready to drink now.  (7/2014)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Composed mostly of Russian River fruit from young vines and vineyards that winemaker Bob Cabral is test driving, this is dark in its fruit but bright in its acidity, which gives the wine a satisfying snap. Its green edges go in a savory direction with air, turning toward a coastal sea-wrack complexity. Decant this now with roast quail, or save it for later—it has enough structure to gain from a few years in the cellar.  (8/2014)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Our favorite among the Williams Selyem appellation bottlings, this one from Sonoma County challenges a good many of its high-ticket siblings when to comes to proportion, pure fruit and fine balance. While fairly rich, it is always controlled with nary a hint of excess, and it has the careful structure of a wine that will age quite well. We very much like its potential and foresee four or five years of real growth in its future.  (6/2014)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Powerful cherry and blackberry scents are energized by tangy acidity and a smoky mineral quality. At once rich and lively on the palate, offering sweet dark berry flavors and a touch of licorice. In a weighty, rather masculine style for this producer, with a note of cola building on the youthfully tannic finish.  (5/2014)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "The nose is very floral at first with a beautiful lilac aroma and leads into strawberry and Montgomery cherry notes. The wine is beautifully framed with allspice and vanilla. Hints of freshly cut tarragon add a savory complexity to this delicious offering. The palate leads with strawberry and cherry notes and the juicy acidity seems to carry the wine and close with a silky finish. Overall, it is very round and unctuous in the mouth. An amalgam of younger vineyards from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, primarily Pommard and Dijon clones, this wine shows the true diversity of Sonoma County. The long texture finishes with a kiss of cherry fruit and mouthwatering acidity."

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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).