2012 Williams Selyem "Hirsch Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1174339 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 This vineyard-designated wine reflects its sense of place remarkably well, offering tight dark cherry and blueberry around a strong character of wild earth, tea and herb. High in acidity and minerality, and yet powerfully understated, it’s gorgeously drinkable now but will gain further complexity through 2022. *Cellar Selection* (VB)  (4/2015)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 There is a background hint of menthol to the cool and wonderfully pure nose that combines notes of plum, dark Pinot, anise, sandalwood and floral scents. There is excellent volume and richness to the delicious and relatively full-bodied yet fine flavors that possess that lovely sense of underlying tension before terminating in a firm, dusty and serious finish. This is sufficiently tight that it would not be the best candidate in the range for early consumption; indeed I would strongly advise forgetting this in the back of the cellar for at least 6 years and 10 would be better. *Outstanding*  (4/2015)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Pungent, fresh, mineral-accented red fruits and Asian spices on the nose. Lively and precise in the mouth, offering tangy cherry and raspberry flavors and a touch of orange pith. Finishes with very good clarity and cut, with dusty tannins adding shape. (ST)  (5/2014)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 A little restrained and less forthcoming at first but soon showing a nice mix of cherries, violets and temperate oak sweetness in its increasingly involving aromas, this compact, still somewhat nascent youngster is built along the firm lines that its coastal provenance predicts. It is not, however, overly stiff and hijacked by acidity, and it is balanced to age nicely, but age it needs, and we would not be surprised if it takes a good five or six years to really come into its own. *One Star*  (10/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard displays a deep, black cherry fruitiness, a dark ruby color that is more saturated than some of its siblings’, moderate body, a similar texture as well as length, and reasonably good, well-integrated acidity. Although similar to the other Pinots, it is certainly well-made, and merits an excellent rating. (RP)  (12/2014)

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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).