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 Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.
Feeney Vineyard was renamed Montafi Vineyard and dates back to 1926. Situated in the Russian River Valley the vineyard is mostly Zinfandel but does contain a healthy amount of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir de la Calmette. A little Petite Sirah is interspersed as well.
Maroon in color. 15.2% ABV. Red fruits, pepper and baking spices on the nose. Rich yet elegant on the palate. Medium body with great acidity. Flavors of raspberry liqueur, boysenberry, cherry cordial and white pepper. The finish is seamless and long. Absolutely delicious Zinfandel that shows no sign of being almost 10 years old. Drink over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 95 points.
Another candidate for my Top 10 Zins of this year.
Williams Selyem is no longer making a Zinfandel from this vineyard. Current offerings from Williams Selyem include Zins from Papera Vineyard and Bacigalupi Vineyard.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.
I wrote about Williams Selyem recently in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2015 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
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