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.
Bright crimson in color. 14.9% ABV. Stunning nose of brambly black fruits, cocoa powder, tar and earth. Full bodied with mouth watering acidity. Sweet, decadent and delicious fruit on the palate. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry compote, milk chocolate and baking spices. The finish is exceptionally long. A great Zinfandel from a maligned vintage. 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 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings. I also wrote about Papera Vineyard in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.
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