Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.
Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Bob Cabral to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise.
Williams Selyem gets the vast majority of their publicity for their Pinot Noirs. In recent years though, I have begun to think their Zinfandels rival the best of the Pinot Noir lineup. The Zins are sourced from exceptional old vine vineyards like Papera, Forchini and Bacigalupi.
The Bacigalupi family has been farming grapes in the heart of the Russian River Valley for over 50 years. Located off the famed Westside Road just west of the town of Healdsburg, the Bacigalupi vineyard has become known for consistently producing world class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel.
The wine is a light ruby red, almost rust in color. 15.2% ABV. Jammy aromatics of blueberries and strawberries. Licorice, pepper, briar and plums on the palate. Elegant and balanced with soft tannins. Textbook “claret style” Zinfandel. Beautiful wine.
Note to self…buy more Zinfandel from Williams Selyem.
My rating: 93 points.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. Current vintages of the Williams Selyem Zinfandels run $55 off the mailing list.
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