Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2006 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – Bottle Notes

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.

The fruit for the ’06 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was sourced from the Drake Estate Vineyard, the Allen Vineyard, the Flax Vineyard, the Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard, the Bucher Vineyard, and the Litton Estate Vineyard.

Light red. Almost translucent in color. 14.3% ABV. Forest floor, spice, earth, pine needle and red fruits on the nose. Medium body and just perfect acidity. Orange rind, sassafras, cherries, nutmeg and minerals on the palate. The wine finishes strong and has enough tannins to warrant another year or so in the cellar. This bottle bodes well for the ’06 single vineyard wines.

My rating: 92 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. Current vintages of the Russian River Valley bottling are approximately $50 off the mailing list and at retail. I sometimes find myself questioning the price point on this wine but in looking at the vineyard sources I could make an argument that the price is fair.

In other news it was announced recently that Bob Cabral will be leaving Williams Selyem after the 2014 vintage is harvested. This is a huge blow to Williams Selyem and one that needs to be closely monitored by fans of the winery.

I wrote about Williams Selyem recently in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley.

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