2005 Williams Selyem "Rochioli Riverblock" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1051410 96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Not only the best of a very fine lot from Williams Selyem, but our pick as one of the best Pinot Noirs of recent memory, this wonderfully deep, broadly fruited wine sets the bar of achievement at a dizzying height. Winning very high marks for both its fruity precision and carefully crafting, it is on the one hand enveloping and easy to access and, on the other, a layered and very sophisticated opus. We can only guess that it will become even better over time because it is a show-stopping glassful right now, and its very keen balance absolutely insures that it has much life ahead of it. *Three Stars*  (2/2008)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is always one of Williams Selyem's most complex, interesting wines. The '05 is especially layered, showing a silky, elegant mouthfeel that frames extraordinarily lush flavors of cherries, cola, pomegranates, root beer and dusty Asian spices. *Editors' Choice*  (2/2008)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Bright strawberry and raspberry aromas display impressive purity and energy. Suave, silky and sweet, with intense red fruit flavors, juicy acidity and striking depth. No obvious tannins here, just pure, luscious fruit. Gains weight on the finish but at no expense of finesse or clarity. This doesn't let up. (ST)  (5/2008)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Complex aromas of black cherry, raspberry and floral berry blossom have a touch of light oak and a hint of anise and sage. Firm and concentrated. (JL)  (2/2008)

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A red pinot fruit nose offers up a note of crushed leaf as well as wood spice hints that merge into detailed, pure and understated medium-bodied flavors that possess lovely balance and persistence. There is limited complexity at present but more depth should develop with a few years of cellar time.  (10/2008)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Pinot Noir Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard exhibits a deep ruby color as well as pure notes of wet stones (reminiscent of a Bordeaux Graves), red currants, cranberries, and sweet strawberries. It possesses a luscious texture, good acidity, and impressive purity as well as length. (RP)  (12/2007)

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Price: $89.99
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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 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:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14