2007 Williams Selyem "Flax Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1078651 94 points Wine & Spirits

 Plant the old-line Pommard clone in the fractured sandstone soils of the Russian River Valley and you get a silken beauty like this 2007 Flax. The vines, planted in 1996, produced a wine with the textural richness of great Russian River Pinot and the transparent red fruit clarity Pommard can achieve in top sites. The floral fruit and tannin meld seamlessly, fragrant, cool and foresty. And for all its concentrated flavor, it tastes as clean and fresh as rainwater. For quail roasted with hedgehog mushrooms.  (4/2010)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Despite firm tannins and tough acidity this wine is so rich and silky, you can drink it now, with decanting. It floods the mouth with raspberries, cherries, chocolate, anise, cinnamon spice and sweet oak. Absolutely delicious, with a silky, seductive mouthfeel.  (2/2010)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2007 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard possesses one of the deepest ruby colors of all these Pinots as well as a big, sweet nose of boysenberries, black cherries, earth, and spice. Rich and medium to full-bodied, it is among the most generous, sumptuous, and accessible of these offerings. (RP)  (2/2010)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby. Deep, youthfully brooding cherry and dark berry skin scents are complicated by anise and black tea. Very rich, with fleshy blackberry and kirsch flavors, a chewy texture and slow-building tannins. The tannins gain power on the finish, which strongly echoes the cherry and licorice notes. No way I'd touch this one for at least another five years. (ST) 93+  (5/2009)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Deep and somewhat brooding ripe black cherry fruit mingles with smoky and dried lavender smells in this ripe, yet still quite undeveloped wine. Its early suppleness and slightly coating viscosity on the palate gives way later as firmer lines come into play, and while there are unmistakable varietal fruit cherries and dried raspberries evident in its flavors, they are a long way from fully expressive at this point. Here again, bottle age is a near necessity for the future. *Two Stars*  (2/2010)

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Price: $74.99
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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.