2013 Williams Selyem "Hirsch Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Previously $130)

SKU #1218950 95 points Vinous

 The 2013 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard is another striking wine from Williams Selyem. Beams of tannin and acidity provide the backdrop for a powerful, structured Pinot endowed with real personality. Readers will have to be patient with the Hirsch, but it is terrific. (AG)  (8/2016)

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Here the cool and restrained nose only grudgingly offers up its beautifully layered aromas of spice, tea, lilac, red currant and pomegranate. There is excellent verve and delineation to the medium-bodied, caressing and seductive yet entirely serious flavors that are like a coiled spring before concluding in a wonderfully long if mildly austere finish. This is very Zen-like in its understated sense of harmony and refinement yet there is no lack of underlying material that should easily see this amply rewarding up to a decade of cellar time, indeed it will need at least 4 to 5 as this is very tightly wound at present.  (4/2016)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard has a dense ruby/plum color and an attractive nose of black cherries and currants as well as earth and forest. It is medium to full-bodied, concentrated, very youthful, fresh and rich. It should age nicely for a decade or more. 91+ (RP)  (3/2016)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's notes: "Anise, wild herbs and Bing cherry come together on the nose, and elegantly transition into a smoky tea-like profile. The best coastal Pinot Noirs boast omnipresent tannins buffered by precise acidity; the Hirsch site defines this. The cherry and wild herb notes in the mouth give way to a long finish of mineral and black tea. Superb."

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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.
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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).