Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard – 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 Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.

The Flax Vineyard is located just south of Williams Selyem, in the Russian River Valley. Three blocks totaling 9 acres make up this unique vineyard which was planted in 1996. Flax was a source for Williams Selyem through the 2010 vintage.

Ruby red in color. 14.4% ABV. Sublime nose of warm cherry pie, pine needles and forest floor. Elegant, complex and exceptionally well balanced. Flavors of black cherries, cloves, nutmeg and mushrooms. This was always a favorite in the WS lineup and it is unfortunate that the wine is no longer made. In a great spot now. Drink over the next 1-2 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 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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