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.
Papera Vineyard is situated in the Russian River Valley and was planted in 1934 by Charlie Papera. Most vineyards from this era are comprised of a number of mixed black varieties. Papera, on the other hand, is 95% Zinfandel.
Maroon in color. 14.8% ABV. Pretty nose of juicy red fruits, plums and black pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Fresher and less jammy than most Williams Selyem Zins. Raspberry, boysenberry, strawberry and more pepper on the palate. The wine finishes strong with chalky, gritty tannins. Had I tasted this blind I would not have pegged it as a wine made by Bob Cabral. Atypical but exceptional. Absolutely singing. Drink over the next 1-3 years.
My rating: 93 points.
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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