2012 Williams Selyem "Olivet Lane" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Previously $120)

SKU #1157835 96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 This outstanding effort ranks among the richest and best-filled examples of Olivet Lane Pinot that we can recall, and, while deep in fully-ripened, black cherry fruit, it is as noteworthy for its careful, very keen sense of balance as for its considerable generosity. It is moderately full-bodied and fleshy in feel, and its ready ripeness is tempered by neatly matched acidity that lifts and brightens its wonderfully persistent finish. It delivers lots to like now, and we would not turn down a bottle if offered with dinner tonight, but as good as it is at the moment, it can only get better with age.  (6/2014)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 **Cellar Selection** Dry, tart and balanced, it has keen acidity highlighting complex flavors of pomegranates, persimmons, cherries and sandalwood, with the earthy, plummy sweetness of mu shu sauce. This wine gets better and better as it breathes in the glass. It’s hard to keep from opening it now, but it will benefit from aging; best after 2018.  (7/2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Pungent, smoke-tinged aromas of dried cherry, blackberry and musky herbs, with a potpourri nuance building in the glass. Juicy, concentrated and expansive, offering cherry-cola and licorice pastille flavors and a hint of rose. Building tannins shape the clinging, smoky finish, which leaves a bitter cherry note behind. Bob Cabral told me he thinks this vineyard is producing more masculine wines than it did in the past. (ST)  (5/2014)


 The 2012 Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard offers lovely immediacy and plenty of early appeal. Crushed flowers, mint, sweet red berries and subtle earthy notes all take shape in the glass. The 2012 has an attractive sense of poise and centeredness, although it remains a bit chunky and rough around the edges. (AG)  (2/2014)

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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:

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.