2012 Williams Selyem "Rochioli Riverblock" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1174341 96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 This decidedly pretty wine is at once both graceful and wonderfully deep with a very firm grasp on keen and lively young fruit that runs from ripe cherries to raspberries. It is impressively concentrated yet is always light on its feet and hints at that special, slightly velvety quality found in the very best versions of the grape, yet it exhibits enough youthful, back-palate tightness to make waiting the smart choice. It is bound to show a little more finishing polish once a couple of years have passed, and it will continue to grow and improve for a good many more after that. *Three Stars*  (10/2014)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Fresh-picked Bing cherry delights on the initial entry into this silky Pinot, sourced from a long-famous site in the heart of the Russian River. Medium-bodied and nicely structured, it offers ample concentration around a core of elegance, with a lingering finish of vibrant cherry. Enjoy through 2022. *Cellar Selection* (VB)  (4/2015)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby-red. Pungent aromas and flavors of black raspberry, mulberry, anise and candied rose are accented by a minerally topnote. Sweet, dense and focused, offering intense red and dark berry flavors and a hint of smoked meat. Becomes sweeter and broader with air, picking up a spicecake nuance that carries through a strikingly long, gently tannic finish. Very complex already but history suggests that this Pinot will be shutting down soon, after which it should be forgotten about for at least another six years or so. (ST)  (5/2014)

92 points Vinous

 Hard candy, sweet red berries, spices and mint are all laced together in the 2012 Pinot Noir River Block, a wine that stands out for its racy, silky personality. The aromas are quite floral, perfumed and sweet throughout in a Pinot that is already open for business. This parcel is always picked a little riper than the others, which Rochioli feels is necessary to have the right balance of flavors. The River Block is an excellent choice for drinking over the next handful of years. (AG)  (2/2014)

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Price: $109.99
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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 Sp├Ątburgunder 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 Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.