2010 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Previously $75)

SKU #1094127 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Very pure, lively aromas of black raspberry, violet, licorice and bitter chocolate. Dense, spicy and sweet but almost weightless, offering nuanced flavors of dark berries and flowers complicated by bitter chocolate and woodsmoke. The persistent, floral-tinged finish features silky, fine-grained tannins and very good energy. (ST)  (5/2012)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Here, again, there is a pert aspect and a spark of freshness that runs this wine's length, yet there is also a good measure of very attractive young fruit at its heart. Spry but not stiff, and sporting the kind of acidity that will keep it going for years, it may never reach the heights that mark the single-site thoroughbreds in the winery's portfolio, but it is a carefully crafted, very well-focused Pinot Noir all the same. *One Star*  (6/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Williams Selyem's 2010 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is gorgeous. Juicy, open and expressive, the 2010 is bursting with sweet, radiant red fruit. Floral and spice nuances develop later, but the 2010 remains a forward, fruit-driven wine best enjoyed over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016. (AG)  (4/2013)

Wine Enthusiast

 Acidity hits the tongue like a squeeze of lime juice, making it savory and mouthwatering. It really needs food to help it soften. Bone dry and elegantly structured, it has pleasant flavors of sour cherry candy, pomegranate and spice.  (9/2012)

Wine Spectator

 Offers a mix of ripe black cherry and plum, with a crushed rock edge, tight and firm, persistent on the finish. Should gain. Best from 2013 through 2021. (JL)  (8/2012)

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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).