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.
Light crimson in color. Almost translucent. 14.4% ABV. Surreal nose of black cherries, cloves and forest floor. Medium body with tremendous acidity. Structure and power that belies eleven years of bottle age. Pomegranate, cherries, anise and baking spices on the palate. Everything is in the right place with this wine. One of the better Pinot Noir’s I have had in recent memory. Drink over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 94 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 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.