2003 Williams Selyem "Feeney" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1053286 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 My favorite 2003 Zinfandel is the Feeney Vineyard, an opaque purple-tinged effort offering an explosive bouquet of blackberries, currants, crushed rocks, underbrush, and incense. Deep, full-bodied, rich, and layered, with spectacular concentration as well as length, this 160-case blockbuster should drink well for 5-7 years.  (12/2005)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated medium ruby. Crystallized black fruits, caramelized sugar and mission fig on the nose; smells like a jellied fruit candy. Then almost painfully intense in the mouth, with very pure flavors of candied dark fruits. Finishes with explosive length. An extraordinarily primary zinfandel that needs, and should reward, seven or eight years of aging. (15.8% alcohol; includes 5% alicante bouschet)  (6/2005)

Wine Enthusiast

 This wine has too much alcohol, namely 15.8%, and finishes hot and raisiny. Awkward exaggerations of what Zin should be.  (11/2005)

Wine Spectator

 Very ripe, with vivid, high-toned boysenberry and blackberry flavors that turn juicy ,and it seems a touch sweet, showing a bit of heat on the finish.  (8/2005)

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Price: $59.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

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 (%): 15.8