2010 Williams Selyem "Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1153839 97 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Three Stars* The 2010 roster of Pinots from Williams Selyem arguably ranks with the best we have seen, yet, among the many beauties therein contained, this outstanding effort lodges a hard-to-dispute claim of occupying the very head of an overachieving class. It is as deep and concise and pure in fruit as it is impeccably polished, and its layered flavors of ripe cherries, vanilla, crème caramel and graphite compel sip after satisfying sip. It is amazingly rich, but it is always light on its feet, and we confess that waiting for it to grow into its best some five years hence is sure to be no easy task.  (2/2013)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 This shows the extraordinary richness and complexity that the winery’s estate vineyard has exhibited over its lifetime. It’s vast in cherry, red currant and licorice flavors, plus multiple layers of sautéed mushroom, exotic baking spice, mineral and sweet, smoky sandalwood. It’s also very tannic, with a brisk spine of acidity. Good as it is, it needs time for all the parts to knit together. Better after 2018. *Cellar Selection*  (3/2013)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Highly perfumed aromas of black raspberry, potpourri and sandalwood are complicated by notes of coffee, mocha and anise. Offers a suave combination of richness and restrained sweetness, with berry liqueur and floral pastille flavors lifted by zesty minerality. This sharply focused, vibrant Pinot finishes sweet, seamless and very long, with resonating spiciness and a hint of dusty tannins. (ST)  (5/2013)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Pinot Noir Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard is arguably the most complete of these 2010 Pinots. Rose petals, dark red berries, spices and licorice are woven together with a level of pure finesse that I don't see in the other Williams Selyem 2010s. A long, subtle, beautifully perfumed finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. There is so much to admire in the 2010 today, but I also sense it will age quite gracefully. (AG)  (4/2013)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 From the vines surrounding William Selyem’s new winery on Westside Road, this is a ripe, rich Pinot Noir. The fruit is tart, bringing sour cherries and dusty cherry skins to mind; the tannins are sweetened up by oak. Finely balanced, this needs bottle age to develop.  (4/2013)

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Price: $129.99
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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.