2015 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1298064 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Roses and strawberries rise first on the nose of this well-made wine—a celebration of the appellation in its full embrace of medium-bodied texture and weight. It offers elements of dried sage, black tea and cardamom around bursts of cranberry, cherry and orange. (VB)  (10/2017)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Fairly tight in construction and very obviously showing its youth, this medium-full-bodied offering teases with a burst of early, red cherry and raspberry fruit before firming up and pulling back in mid-palate. It is not in the least thin or lacking, and persistent fruit stays in place well into its lengthy finish, but it is compact and a bit nervy at present and needs three or four years in which to unfold and expand. Patience is highly recommended, early drinking is not.  (6/2017)

90 points Vinous

 The 2015 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) captures the essence of the appellation in its bold, plum red fruit, cola and hard candy character. Radiant and bold, but without being overdone, the Russian River Pinot also makes a terrific introduction to both the house style and the very specific personality that defines what Russian River Pinot is all about. (AG)  (3/2017)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A perfumed and pretty nose consists of notes of plum, violet, tea and attractive spice elements. There is both good volume and vibrancy to the delicious and relatively pliant medium-bodied flavors that possess good depth on the round, velvety and sneaky long finish. This is lovely and could easily be enjoyed now or held for 5 to 7 years just as easily.  (10/2017)

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Price: $89.99
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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.