2003 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Previously $60)

SKU #1033195 91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Classic cool-area Sonoma Pinot, this one features pulpy, ripe red cherry aromas filled with creamy oak and carried comfortably by the wine's varietally correct velvety texture. It is genuinely fruity in the mouth with a pleasing aftertaste and slight firmness to its lingering finish. Time in bottle will temper a bit of its direct and somewhat coarse approach and will allow it to develop an extra complement of range.  (6/2005)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Although the immediate impact of this wine is obvious in the soft silk and satin mouthfeel and cherry, cola, mocha and spice flavors, it's not a simple wine. The palate understands the complexity, and wants more...and more...and more.  (11/2005)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Noticeably ripe maraschino cherry and briar notes nuanced with subtle spice, particularly clove and anise, introduce rich, forward, round and slightly sweet middle weight flavors that finish with a decided edge even after extended airing.  (6/2005)


 Good red-ruby. Fresh aromas of red berries, black cherry, sandalwood, minerals and smoky oak. Fairly dense on entry, then lively in the middle palate, with more lift than the Sonoma County bottling. Finishes slightly tart-edged. This could use a couple years of bottle aging. (ST)  (5/2005)

Wine Spectator

 An elegant effort, with a beam of sour cherry, spice, nutmeg and a hint of citrus, finishing with drying, earthy tannins. Concentrated, with good depth. (JL)  (7/2005)

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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.


- 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.
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).